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Demolition plan leads to protests

CALLS to save two distinctive buildings in Bognor Regis have been made by town councillors.


Labour’s Cllr Jan Cosgrove and Cllr Matt Stanley, of the Liberal Democrats, have said 2-4 Waterloo Square should be preserved rather than demolished.


As reported, developer B5 Ltd wants to knock down the distinctive structures because it says they are beyond economic restoration and should be replaced by a modern building of flats with shops and restaurants on the ground floor.


But Cllr Cosgrove said professional advice he had received led him to believe the buildings could be salvaged.


“The applicant relies on reports by their consultants claiming the property to be a danger and beyond reclaim/repair.


“I am advised that these are riddled with caveats and that the claim should be treated with scepticism, and that demolition is not necessary.


“The argument is that the property could be restored and made viable, within the spirit and character of Waterloo Square.


“2-4 Waterloo Square is similar in character, design and era to the Old Fire Station in Bognor High Street, now occupied by The Lock Centre.”


Cllr Cosgrove also said he was critical of Arun District Council’s role as the owner of the buildings – which had been let to tenants – in allowing them to deteriorate.


Cllr Matt Stanley, who helps to represent Marine ward on Arun District Council as well as the town council, said efforts should be made to save the buildings.


“In my opinion, the work done on heritage for this application is for the sole purpose of supporting the demolition.


“I would like to see some robust, objective consultation on the subject of heritage,” he said.


“Demolition should not be used as an easy answer to absolve responsibility. A more in depth survey is urgently required to assess the state of the building.”

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