Developer to submit new plans for Bognor

Artist's impression of the Sir Richard Hotham project which has been turned down
Artist's impression of the Sir Richard Hotham project which has been turned down

Developer Thomas Elliott has pledged to draw up new plans for his £80m scheme to regenerate Bognor Regis.

Mr Elliott said the objections which Arun District Council raised to his proposals could be overcome.

He wrote to the council’s director of planning and economic regeneration, Karl Roberts, on Tuesday to seek a meeting to discuss the matter.

“It would be good if the council would speak to us and we will address the four points. We can agree them to the council’s satisfaction and then we can move forward to submit a new planning application,” he said.

“It will be achievable to overcome the objections by the council, and we can do that, but it would be better to work together with the council.”

As reported on page four, Arun’s development control committee soundly defeated the proposal from the Sir Richard Hotham Project led by Mr Elliott.

He said: “Despite this setback, we are already in the process of re-drawing our application specifically to deal with, and in planning protocol terms, solve these four outstanding problems and will then re-submit our application to Arun within days.”

He ruled out the usual procedure of appealing against the council’s decision because of the time it would take for an appeal to be heard by an independent planning inspector.

The scheme involves an extensive regeneration of the Regis Centre, Hothamton and former Esplanade Theatre sites with a mixture of leisure and retails uses and homes. But Mr Elliott said he was unable to speak to Arun in the months before his application was considered by the committee.

He had believed a pre-planning agreement he had submitted to the council well over six months ago would have led to talks but these were never held.

“We are prepared to show Arun our books so they can see our plans are viable,” Mr Elliott said. “We think we know what it takes to regenerate Bognor and we can deliver it so that Bognor can start to come back to being the kind of resort that attracts a lot of staying tourists rather than sometime day visitors.

“We are sure from speaking to many people in the community that the chance to support a privately funded plan of this scale, with the clear effect of job creation for local people for generations, is one which is well supported.”

A job agency would be select local people for the hundreds of new jobs.

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