Call for new ideas to be consulted on

PROPER consultation on a multi-million pound regeneration scheme for Bognor Regis has been demanded.

Concerns about what will happen now Arun District Council’s preferred partner for the Regis Centre and Hothamton sites has walked away from plans were voiced at a separate meeting of Bognor Regis Civic Society.

Speaking on Friday the society’s vice-chairman, Hugh Coster, said he feared consultation would be a ‘waste of time’ with ‘residents ignored’.

He said: “Like many I was at the full council meeting and like many I was surprised when the leader Gillian Brown tabled some amendments.

“I think this was done because of the huge amount of pressure the council had been coming under since news St Modwen had walked away. I think it is fair to say there had been a lot of anger, discontent and concern and they were forced to listen.”

Mr Coster said when he first read the amendments he thought Arun was finally listening but claims on further inspection he found that not to be the case.

Mr Coster said: “The amendments were worded very cleverly. Arun made a big song and dance about how they would listen to the people and would welcome any ideas but once again that is not the case.

“The recommendation says Arun will carry out consultation on the core elements of the scheme. They do not say they will not consult on any alternative schemes put forward.”

Society committee member Tony Dixon agreed: “The council seem obsessed with the idea of the multiplex, flats and a hotel on the Regis site. People don’t want it but they don’t listen.

“If you look at what has happened since they parted with St Modwen there have been some really good, innovative and imaginative ideas coming forward.”

Resident Caroline Wilson told the meeting she was worried people were confused about what was actually happening.

She said: “People don’t understand what this really means. They think there will be a full consultation on all of the options. There won’t be. This just another clever ploy from Arun.”