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Call over new seafront plan

A call has been made for new outlets on Bognor Regis seafront to be visually exciting.


Town councillor Steve Goodheart said he wanted the structures to add a different appeal to the promenade.


“They should be contemporary structures, a bit more adventurous and a bit more exciting than usual,” he told his fellow councillors at a meeting on Tuesday.


He said he had spoken to Arun District Council several years ago about the need for newer kiosks along The Esplanade as part of his regeneration plans for the town.


He feared the proposed outlets would not create the right impression for the important area.


“I would love Arun to come and visit the seafront and I would like to make suggestions to them,” said Cllr Goodheart (I, Hotham).


His comments came as Bognor Regis Town Council’s planning and licensing committee agreed to make no objection to Arun’s plans for three new food and drink outlets on the seafront.


But its members said the proposals should comply with the neighbourhood plan they compiled some four years ago to control development in the town.


Glenna Frost, the town council’s clerk, said in its formal response to the application: “In particular, promenade cafes, eateries, retail and information outlets should be relevant to the beach and seafront experience, visitor needs, and be focused around the five specific beach service points/hubs as indicated on the key priorities map within the neighbourhood plan.


“Any development proposal on the seafront at these service points will be expected to maintain the visual integrity of the key views and vista defined in the Bognor characterisation study 2014 from the town out to the sea and along the seafront.


“Any alterations and additions to the seafront will need to assess (the) potential impact on the Bognor Reef Site of Special Scientific Impact and take any measures necessary to remove any adverse effects on the reef.”


Arun is seeking planning approval from itself to change the use of three sites on the seafront for temporary food and drink outlets and other seaside uses.


The locations are just east of the pier, next to the beacon and close to Butlin’s.


Cllr Pat Dillon (C, Pevensey) said: “These are only temporary structures. If they don’t work, they will get taken away.


“If they do work, they could possibly lead to something more long term and make that seafront come alive again.”


The committee’s chairman, Cllr Jeanette Warr (LD, Hotham) said the seafront should be a ‘quirky, seasonal place’. “Arun’s idea of our seafront is different from what the majority of people would like our seafront to look like.


“Most of the general public would prefer to have our seafront to have more Victorian styling,” she said.


A statement with Arun’s plans says the use of the spaces and the nature of each outlet would be vetted and licensed by the councill.

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