Arun declines public meeting call to address regeneration concerns

How the linear park could look
How the linear park could look

Arun District Council has been criticised after rejecting Bognor town councillors’ call for a public meeting to discuss regeneration plans.

Questions over the proposed linear park on the Hothamton car park site led the town council to invite Arun to a meeting to discuss plans with residents.

But since concerns, –including the level of public support – were discussed at a town council meeting on March 12, Arun has declined the request.

Arun said the public would comment when a planning application was submitted – in addition to a public consultation last year.

Liberal Democrat district and town councillor Matt Stanley said: “I am amazed and confused as to why they would turn the opportunity down. Maybe they just do not want to know what Bognor Regis thinks about their proposed redevelopment.”

Mr Stanley was elected in February and issues relating to the linear park were a key focus of his campaign.

He has repeatedly spoken of the low number of residents who attended a public exhibition in October as evidence of a lack widespread support – despite Arun leader Gill Brown claiming plans had ‘overwhelming’ backing. Click here for more details.

“The community has questions,” he said.

“Why less green space? Why less car parking spaces? Why so many flats? What will happen to the health centre?

“The Conservatives at Arun District Council cannot just keep ignoring the views and opinions of the Bognor Regis residents.”

An Arun spokesman noted last year’s exhibition, before full council agreed in March to progress with delivery of the linear park.

They said: “The council will now be preparing the final designs for the park in preparation for submitting a planning application. During this process there will be further opportunities for the public to view the proposals and to make comment. 

“The exact form these opportunities will take is to be decided at a later date. “

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