New order to help Butlin’s to be discussed this month

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A PROPOSAL to make it easier for Butlin’s to improve its Bognor Regis site is to go to councillors this month.

The planned local development order will be on the agenda of Arun District Council’s development control committee on July 31.

The order will enable the holiday company to make minor changes to its site without the current need to seek planning permission.

Cian Cronin, Arun’s planning officer for the Butlin’s resort, said he would recommend the committee to approve the order.

But he would advise it should be amended from the initial report given to the committee last year.

The suggested change would limit any funfair structures to those which were permitted in the lease for the land which Butlin’s rents from the council. “The structures should only be a certain height and should only take place 100m from the boundary,” he told Felpham Parish Council’s planning committee last week.

“It will be up to the development control committee to approve it or not. That’s a decision they will have to come to.”

The local development order will be the first in the Arun district if it goes ahead. Such freedom from red tape is a government idea to ease restrictions on businesses.

Among the works which will be covered by the order are new small buildings like kiosks and the installation of solar panels.

They can only be a single storey height. The order will not cover development within 20m of the site’s boundary, new staff or guest accommodation, hotels and swimming pools.

These will still require planning approval. Arun held a lengthy consultation period about the order last winter.

Mr Cronin said this saw 13 visitors to two exhibitions and resulted in three formal responses. They came from Bognor Regis and Felpham councils and an individual. All were opposed to the order.

“I would suggest the consultation responses reflect the level of concern about the issue,” he said.

Cllr Paul English, Felpham Parish Council’s chairman, said he believed the consultation had lacked publicity. “I’m not sure only 13 people is enough to make a recommendation for the order,” he stated.

n Butlin’s is to make a second bid to install a helter-skelter. It will be more centrally sited compared to the first. That was removed and its planning application withdrawn by the company.