Exhibition about Butlin’s will be held again next year

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A SECOND chance is to be given for Felpham residents to look at a scheme which would allow Butlin’s to install new funfair equipment.

A proposed local development order for the holiday site will relax current planning rules.

Arun District Council is suggesting the order should be introduced to give the holiday firm more flexibility to boost its growth and to save money.

But the first public exhibition about the idea - in St Mary’s Centre on Grassmere Close on December 8 - lacked much advance publicity.

Only ten people had gone along in the first two of its five-and-a-half hours.

Council senior planning officer Cian Cronin said: “It’s a fair criticism there has not been that much publicity about this event.

“I will hold another exhibition early next year to give anyone else interested the chance to come along.

“The exhibition is also on show in Bognor Regis Town Hall until the start of February.

“We are allowing people six weeks to make their comments, though we need only give them 28 days.”

One of the exhibition’s visitors, John Taylor, 66, of Felpham Way, said: “It’s a crying shame this has not been better advertised.

“If people knew about it, they would at least have the chance to come along and have a look at it.”

He said broadly backed the proposal but he was concerned about single storey buildings being placed on each other.

Firs Avenue resident Kathryn Seal, 38, said: “This is a great idea. It will save the council money and, hopefully, help the town. I’ve no concerns at all.”

Local development orders are a government idea to ease restrictions on businesses.

Butlin’s has been chosen by the district council as the area’s first site for an order.

If it is agreed, it will enable the firm to carry out minor schemes without having to apply for planning permission.

Among the works covered is new funfair equipment, new small buildings like kiosks and installing solar panels.

All changes have to be restricted to a single storey in height and less than 6m tall.

Ruled out is development within 20m of the site’s boundary, new staff or guest accommodation, and hotels and swimming pools.

The order will last for five years. But further talks will be held with Felpham and Bognor councils before Arun makes a decision. This will have to be backed by the government.