Old airfield for sale to generate more Bognor jobs

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A POTENTIAL site for hundreds of jobs in Bognor Regis has been put up for sale.

Sime Darby London has decided to market the freehold of the former Lec Airfield for sale on an unconditional basis.

The airfield comprises about 45.6 acres (18.5 hectares) of land located about a mile north of the town centre to the east of the railway line to Barnham. It is accessed along a track to Felpham Way.

The land has been identified by Arun District Council as a strategic employment site for mixed employment use. It is one of four sites included in the council’s draft local plan for Enterprise Bognor Regis.

Roaf Daud, of Sime Darby London, said: “SDLL has made the decision to sell the site to hand over custody to others who will be able to take this important project forward and realise the aspirations of the local community.

“We are very pleased that Arun has included the Lec Airfield as one of the four sites within Enterprise Bognor Regis.

“The proposed allocation of the site in the draft Arun local plan allows for the Lec airfield to be developed for employment uses in a parkland setting. We have worked closely with all the relevant authorities to de-risk the site and facilitate the site’s future development.

“It is pleasing to note that, during the draft plan’s public examination, the planning inspector supported this proposal and stated that there are no insurmountable issues with the proposed allocation and redevelopment of the Lec Airfield.”

The airfield is being marketed through Goadsby. Bidders have until midday on April 1 to submit their expressions of interest. The marketing details state: “It is considered suitable for a mix of business accommodation for advanced manufacturers, warehouses, offices and small business/studio units (B1, B2 and B8 uses).”

These cover offices other than financial services, research and development and light industry, as well as general industry and storage/distribution centres.

“Halls of residence for workers and students may also be considered acceptable within the mix of employment land delivery,” the details state

Bognor’s biggest company, Lec Refrigeration, laid out a grass airfield for light aircraft on a farmer’s fields behind its Shripney Road factory in 1946.

The airfield was soon used for Auster or Miles Gemini aircraft to be used by Lec to visit many of its overseas agents and customers. An Avro Anson was also bought in 1957 as a flying showroom for the company’s fridges and freezers. The airfield closed in 1993.

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