Positive start for leisure site survey

EAGER residents were quick to make their views known about the future of a Bognor Regis open space.

Six people filled in a survey on possible improvements to Hampshire Avenue recreation ground within the first half an hour at last Saturday’s Christmas fair.

Michael Rowland with the display about Hampshire Avenue recreation ground SUS-141124-094058001

Michael Rowland with the display about Hampshire Avenue recreation ground SUS-141124-094058001

Michael Rowland, Arun District Council’s landscape officer conduced the survey at the youth and community centre opposite the ground.

“This is encouraging,” he said. “I’ve stood at events all day and only had three responses.

“It shows there is a lot of interest in the site and people are pleased to have the opportunity to have their say. I’m really optimistic we will have some good data to work with.”

Arun wants to know how to spend £103,000 on the open space. The money has been paid by the developer of housing at the nearby former Bognor Regis Community College site as part of planning permission for homes.

The funding is required under planning rules which mean developers have to provide public open space and play facilities with new housing, or pay for improvements elsewhere in the neighbourhood.

“Nothing has been decided yet,” Mr Rowland said. “We will consider people’s responses after the consultation and compile some plans. We will ask people again about them.”

Mr Rowland said he regarded the recreation ground as a ‘nice, big open space’ with one or two football pitches marked out and a children’s play area.

“The play area is OK but we do understand it could do with improving,” he said.

One of those who took part in the survey was town centre resident Alexandra Ratcliffe, 22. She often visits the site with her two-year-old daughter.

“I would like to see better access on to the site and the play area is old fashioned and mild compared to the one at Hotham Park with its zipwire.

“But I hope, whatever is done, the grass is kept. It’s nice to see but the area does need improvement.”

The survey can be read at www.arun.gov.uk/assets/survey