Another vote of no confidence for plans

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A REPEAT vote of no confidence in the current regeneration plans has been agreed by Bognor Regis town councillors.

They used Monday’s (July 8) meeting to re-affirm their earlier decision to tell Arun District Council they wanted the present proposals to be scrapped. This backed a motion of no confidence agreed at the town electors’ meeting last March and by the council at an earlier meeting,

Cllr Jim Brooks (I, Marine) told the town council’s meeting: “On the regeneration proposals, I think Arun need a good kicking and I will be voting for the motion. I am still angry at the way they are treating Bognor. I have no confidence in what they are doing.”

Arun’s only aim, he claimed, was to build flats on the Regis Centre site, which it had been trying for the past 30 years.

But he stressed his criticism excluded the good work done by district council officers on matters such as housing.

The motion from the electors criticised the loss of 275 parking spaces in the plans which would build on the Regis Centre and Hothamton car parks. It also attacked the prospect of 280 flats in the scheme and the potential arrival of a four- to five-screen cinema to rival the Picturedrome.

Town mayor Paul Wells (LD, Hotham) said: “I have no confidence in the current regeneration plans. I have a genuine problem with them. There is a huge swathe of people in Bognor dead against the multiplex cinema being built in the town.

“The recipe Arun have ‘cocktailed up’ with St Modwen is not the right cocktail for this town. That has come through loud and clear from the residents through various consultations.

“The car parking issue is huge. If that is got wrong, we will have major problems in Bognor. There is only one chance to get this right.”

Cllr Roger Nash (L, Pevensey) said Arun and developer St Modwen could produce new proposals in September. “I’ve heard there will be new plans but I don’t know the details,” he said.

The town council should reserve the right to comment about them when they were revealed.

He said: “To say we have no confidence in Arun whatever would be shooting ourselves in the foot. There have been some positive meetings with them recently.

“But what is obvious is that the parking situation with the current plans is completely unacceptable. They are looking at reducing car parking when they should be increasing it. The number of parking spaces should be more not less. That is one thing we should agree on.”

Cllr Pat Dillon (C, Pevensey) said: “I’ve been assured by various district councillors that nothing will happen until the parking is sorted out.”

Cllr Tony Gardiner (C, Marine) said meetings should be held to talk about the multiplex.