Bognor park restaurant operator is sought

POTENTIAL operators of a restaurant in Bognor Regis have a month in which to apply.

The closing date for expressions of interest for the unique dining venue in Hotham Park is April 26.

Short-listed applicants will be invited to submit their detailed proposals in May.

As reported, Arun District Council has joined with consultants Colliers International to seek an individual or company which wants to take advantage of the award-winning setting to offer indoor dining for the first time.

The tender document issued by the council and Colliers states: “The new restaurant will enhance the recently generated park and will become a sought-after destination for residents and visitors alike while complementing the high quality of the park and surrounding environment.”

It is hoped the new restaurant will open in two years with room for 40 diners inside and some 30 outside. They will be expected to enjoy fine dining in the evenings and more family-focused food during the day.

Outline planning permission granted by Arun in June 2010 established the principle of a restaurant of 300sq m being built in the park.

Its suggested location was next to the boating lake close to the site of the current cafe with its outdoor seating.

But details such as the exact site of the new venture, its design and external appearance will have to be agreed by the council after a separate planning application.

Arun is prepared for one organisation to design, build and operate the restaurant or for those roles to be split.

Hotham Park’s 22ha have benefited from a £2.2m restoration and improvement project largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The restaurant is seen by the council as being another part of Bognor’s regeneration package by attracting people into the town to boost its economy rather than going elsewhere to spend their money.