New bid for out-of-town store in Bognor Regis

A fresh attempt has been made to build a new out-of-town store for Bognor Regis.

Zurich Assurance has asked for planning permission to be renewed for the outlet, expected to turn over about £3m a year in sales, at the Bognor Regis Retail Park.

The company wants to site the store in its south-eastern corner in front of Matalan, close to the A29 Shripney Road frontage of the site.

It has proposed a store with a gross internal area of 1,519sq m split almost equally between the ground floor and a mezzanine floor.

Its planning agent, Tim Miles, says in a statement the new store would help to keep shoppers spending around the town to boost its economy.

“The most likely scenario is that the proposed outlet will be occupied by a retailer that is not already represented in Bognor,” he said.

“This would, therefore, lead to an improvement in consumer choice, which would be a planning benefit.”

He lists 73 retailers requiring space in the Bognor area.

They include clothing retailers, food stores, banks and restaurants.

It was in May 2009 that Arun approved the initial request for the store to be built.

But the council imposed strict limits on which goods could be sold from the outlet.

Its planning officers would allow it to be used only for furniture and floorcoverings sales, domestic electrical and gas appliances, cycles and cycle parts and accessories, pets and pet supplies, stationery and office supplies and equipment, hardware, DIY goods, garden products, and goods and services to repair and maintain motor vehicles.

They said this was necessary to protect the proposed town-centre regeneration scheme.

This ruled out Argos, which had been interested in moving into the new unit.

The three-year life of the permission is about to expire.

Mr Miles said there was no evidence, using retail surveys, renewing it would affect Bognor’s town centre.