By Kevin Smith
Work to restore the most historic structure on Bognor Regis seafront has been delayed.
The plan to carry out the biggest restoration of the promenade bandstand for 25 years has been halted by councillors.
They want the £50,000 scheme by Arun District Council to be looked at again to enable a disabled access ramp to be included and screens to shield the musicians from the sea breezes.
Their deferral means Arun’s cabinet member for technical services, Cllr Matt Stanley, will consider their demands.
Members of the council’s development control committee were unanimous in their decision on Wednesday.
Cllr Jacky Pendleton (C, Middleton) said: “Should we not have a special look at the access if we want this to be used in the future? Windshields need to be in place to get people using this iconic building as it was in the past.”
She said the bandstand was only raised between three and four bricks to mean creating a ramp to provide access should be a simple job.
Cllr Michael Clayden (C, Angmering) said: “I’m happy with this but it needs a disabled ramp.”
Cllr David Edwards (C, Felpham E) said he welcomed the work but the installation of windbreaks was essential.
Cllr Billy Blanchard-Cooper (LD, Brookfield) said: “I love to see buildings like this being restored. So, I am quite excited to see this happen.”
The last major work on the bandstand, a Grade II-listed structure, appears from Arun’s planning history to have been carried out in 1994.
The council has received backing from the government’s Coastal Revival Fund to pay for the new work when it goes ahead.
Daniel Vick, a council planning officer, said the scheme would include the re-instatement of missing pieces of ornamental metalwork, the re-decoration of the entire structure, removal of the yellow brick plinth and step with red brick and moving the entrance gate from the south elevation to the west elevation.
The open east and west sides will be infilled to match the existing railing, new non-slip tiles in a geometric pattern will be fitted and Perspex sheets will be fitted close to the roof to stop water leaking in.
He said: “Given the nature and necessity of the proposed alteration and the way it would be implemented, it is considered that the proposed works would protect the architectural and historical integrity and detailing of a listed building and would improve and enhance the existing surrounding environment and, consequently, attract visitors.”
Bognor Regis Town Council’s Cllr Steve Goodheart said: “The seafront Grade II-listed bandstand is the most iconic building on the seafront.
“We want to know it is going to remain a building to be looked after with the certain respect it needs.
“I would ask the committee to consider the real need of this building and that is windbreaks. This building is not being used properly because of the lack of windbreaks. The town council objected to the windbreaks of Perspex.
“There should be glass windbreaks as are used throughout the land on buildings like this.