Call to ban new housing on the Regis Centre plot

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A strong demand has been made to ban future housing from the only remaining leisure site on Bognor Regis seafront.

The same strength of feeling was shown for housing to be excluded among the possible uses of the location on Belmont Street.

The vote was prompted by the society’s fear Arun District Council’s draft local plan fails to mention the site in its land use guidelines for the period 2013-2028.

This is despite a 10,158 name petition a few years ago demanding that flats should not allowed to replace the Regis Centre with its Alexandra Theatre.

Housing

Laurie Barnes, the society’s chairman, said: “We have always maintained this site should be maintained for leisure.

“That is not evident in the plan, though a lot of consultation has gone on about this site.”

A supporting document in the draft local plan, which suggested sites to be allocated to housing, did mention 160 homes could replace the Regis Centre.

“Arun says planning permission might not necessarily granted for that number of units but it also says it could be,” said deputy chairman Hugh Coster.

Mary Stanley, a Bognor resident, said she had asked about the Regis Centre’s future during an exhibition about the draft local plan which took place there late last month.

“The planning officer said this area was totally unprotected. Anything could happen here,” she warned the meeting held at the centre.

Planning

Arun senior planning officer Karl Roberts said the lack of information about the Regis Centre site was caused by a new leisure strategy being produced by the council.

“Public consultation on the strategy is due to happen in the autumn,” he said.

“Once that consultation has taken place, we can put the result of that - with the council’s decision - in the local plan.

“While the draft local plan might not say something about the Regis Centre to give a sense of purpose about what might happen to this particular area there are a number of studies taking place about it.”