HAVING lived in or around Bognor for a little over 30 years, I remain puzzled as to the reason why any planners or consultants given the task – presumably at our expense – of considering how to improve Bognor start from the premise they must first get rid of anything in the town that is already working well.
We have a nice little theatre.
The planned major regeneration scheme at first wanted to get rid of it, a decision only altered after much public outcry.
We have an excellent cinema, which with go-getting ideas is successful.
So let’s build a multi-screen cinema on the seafront in order to take away a large percentage of its customers.
Now another suggestion.
We have bowling greens and tennis courts, which are well used, and a park where children can run, picnic and kick a ball around.
Right, let’s get rid of one bowling green and move the other and the tennis courts into the park.
Then, by the time we also make more parking spaces for those travelling along from the centre of town, the children can just sit around and watch, there being little play space remaining.
Who remembers the fiasco of the ‘Victorian kiosks’ in London Road, which apparently necessitated repainting all the attractively-decorated black and gold street furniture in lurid shades of blue and yellow, before erecting what were really metal garages?
Again, a decision only reversed after public outcry.
Another idea: Morrison’s are planning a rebuild and major improvements to their store in the town centre.
So let’s put a large superstore on the Hothampton site.
I don’t know who the planners assume will take it, but there is not enough trade for two large supermarkets so close together in town, with those already trading and being built on the outskirts.
How would it be if the various ‘brain-stormers’ sat down with a clean sheet of paper and considered leaving alone the good things about the town and possibly just adding to them?
We don’t need grandiose schemes which will cost a fortune, like so many we have heard about – can you recall the shopping mall leading from London Road to the High Street; the marina; the pyramids, to name but a few, and most of them unwanted by the vast majority of residents.
I would guess the money spent over the years on plans, consultations, exhibitions etc would have added up to sufficient in itself to regenerate Bognor and half the south coast!
St Winifreds Close, Bognor Regis