Development brings a positive impact

THE REGENERATION of the Hothamton and Regis Centre sites in Bognor Regis will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the town centre and the wider community.

As such, it is no surprise that local people and businesses are keen to find out more about the revised proposals that St. Modwen will deliver in partnership with Arun District Council, as your letters pages from April 12 and before make clear. We very much welcome that interest.

We are absolutely committed to thorough consultation on the emerging proposals. The current plans are still at an early stage and are continuing to evolve.

These plans will be very much shaped by what potential tenants want. We will therefore outline a future programme of consultation once we have been able to assess and act on the interest that is currently being expressed in the town centre.

The scheme will be in a slightly different form to that proposed in 2007/8 because not only have economic circumstances changed but we have also been able to respond to the feedback gained from the previous public consultation.

The scheme will be smaller in scale and will provide less housing. We will be exploring possibilities for student accommodation as this could prove to be a welcome boost to both the local and evening economy.

However, the general principles remain that the scheme will still be mixed-use regeneration, incorporating retail, residential and leisure facilities.

A new multi-screen cinema with a broad offering of films and entertainment will be key to attracting other well-known names to the scheme, creating the most positive economic impact possible for the area.

However something which has, so far, been overlooked in this debate are the benefits for the Alexandra Theatre. It is intended that the money the scheme will bring in will help to significantly improve the theatre, and Arun District Council will be looking at specific options for how to do this.

This scheme represents a £40 million investment that is set to create around 450 jobs. Initial interest from leisure and retail operators is proving encouraging and we believe we will provide a scheme of which everyone in Bognor Regis can be proud.

We are keen to work with local residents, businesses and all those who have an interest in Bognor Regis’ future development and look forward to doing so once our proposals are more fully formed.

Tim Seddon

London and South East Regional Director, St. Modwen