Jobs and homes needed for town

112144_AERIALS_21/06/11''Aerial view of The Esplanade, Bognor Regis.' 'Picture: Allan Hutchings (112144-937) ENGPPP00120110622144439
112144_AERIALS_21/06/11''Aerial view of The Esplanade, Bognor Regis.' 'Picture: Allan Hutchings (112144-937) ENGPPP00120110622144439

JOBS and housing created as part of a land use blueprint for Bognor Regis should be aimed at the town’s residents.

The demand has been made by Arun district councillor Jacqueline Maconachie during the latest debate about the local plan.

This important document from the district council earmarks sites for development such as employment and housing.

One of its key proposals for the years until 2029 is the creation of a commercial park on the former Lec airfield under the title of Enterprise Bognor Regis.

This forms a major part of the regeneration work for the town and accompanies the large number of new homes being built nearby.

But Arun has a duty to consider appeals from neighbouring councils to take some of their allocations for development.

This could mean Worthing council seeking to offload some of its need for more housing on to the Bognor area.

Cllr Maconachie (C, Aldwick W) said this was unacceptable. “Bearing in mind we are basically trying to regenerate and trying to cut down travelling time to work, this will totally undermine that if we have got to take people from Worthing who are then probably going to go back to Worthing to work,” she said.

“I appreciate this is a thing we have to do [co-operate] but we have to keep a careful eye on it. Not everyone chooses to look westwards. Some look to the east as well.”

Cllr Maconachie told Arun’s local plan sub-committee last Thursday it was important Bognor’s residents shared the benefits of regeneration.

Simon Meecham, Arun’s head of planning policy, said the council had to take account of any request from Worthing to co-operate.

But Arun did not have any commitment to take on any of the development requested.

The sub-committee agreed a series of planning studies to be included in the version of the local plan ready to be examined by an inspector next spring.