Bognor Regis nightclub to be replaced with new homes

FLATS are to replace a former nightclub on Bognor Regis seafront.

The eight properties in The Beach will mean the end of a venue which hosted thousands of music lovers.

Arun District Council’s development control committee approved the change of use of the first and second floors of the property on The Esplanade from a club to residential.

Councillors made their unanimous decision without any comment.

The club, opposite the pier, is believed to have been opened in the 70s and was known as The Empire for many years.

Its most recent operators were Harvey and Emma Bailey whose Mud Club closed in July 2010 after some five years.

The application for the new use of the district council-owned site was made by Beach House Developments.

The company wants to form two one-bed flats and six two-bed flats from the empty club.

An extension at the rear will create two town houses.

Eve Hearsey, a council planning officer, the new development would enhance the building and its setting within one of Bognor’s most historic areas next to Waterloo Square.

“The proposed additions to the rear and side of the building fronting on to Waterloo Square and Norfolk Street are an enhancement and complement the building.

“And the front of the building along The Esplanade is retained,” she said.

“The character and appearance of The Steyne and Waterloo Square is important as it represents the development of Bognor as a holiday resort by Sir Richard Hotham.

“The Beach Hotel acts as an important focal point at the south-eastern corner of Waterloo Square. This character is preserved as the commercial holiday facilities are retained at ground floor level.”

One letter from a neighbour in support of the scheme – for reducing anti-social behaviour and providing much-needed housing – was received by Arun.