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New meeting for park plans

AN EMERGENCY meeting of Bognor Regis councillors is to take place to discuss the town’s regeneration.


The town council’s policy and resources committee will hold the special session next Tuesday to discuss how to challenge the current plans to revive Bognor Regis.


The decision for the extraordinary meeting was made at Monday’s annual meeting of the council.


A large majority of councillors agreed that ‘inadequate consultation’ might have been carried out so far about plans to regenerate the town.


“The public should have the opportunities to view proposals by suitable means,” they stated. “The town council will fully explore all cost-effective means of achieving this.”


The backing for the one-off meeting to take place at 6.30pm at the town hall was agreed in an earlier resolution in the meeting.


Cllr Jan Cosgrove (L, Orchard) said the matter was too urgent to go through the usual town council two monthly cycle of being discussed at a committee and then brought back to the town council for a decision.


“This is possibly the most important thing in front of this town in the next 20-30 years,” he said. “The way things are being pushed I feel is insensitive and two months is a long way down the road. By the time we put this through the next two months, it will be too late.


“I’m not satisfied with the regeneration proposals that had so few people respond to them. We need far more people to respond. I am concerned that the people of this town should have the chance and we all know certainly there is a deep reluctance from Arun to revisit the consultation.”


Cllr Matt Stanley (LD, Marine) told the meeting on Monday he was concerned Arun District Council was pressing ahead with its £3m plans for the Hothamton linear park without public backing.


“I think there is a wide consensus across the town that the regeneration plans are not up to scratch,” he said.


“To my knowledge so far, there have been three surveys undertaken on social media. In both of those by Cllr Sandra Daniells and Cllr Jan Cosgrove, the linear park finished at the bottom.


“The other on the Bognor Regis Matters forum has 102 people saying it does not have their support and four people saying it does.


“We have a duty to challenge this. As a council, we should put on an exhibition with all the previously submitted regeneration plans that are still live and allow the community to get involved to see the scale of what is out there and consult with them to see what they would like in their town.”


Cllr Damien Enticott (L, Hatherleigh) had put forward a motion the town council should arrange for a newspaper pull-out supplement about regeneration with a poll for people’s views.


This is set to be among the matters debated at Tuesday’s meeting.

Posted in Local Developments, News.