University business centre gets approval

A BUSINESS innovation centre in Bognor Regis has received planning approval.

The centre was among the changes in the town’s campus of the University of Chichester which has been backed by Arun District Council.

One of its senior planning officers, Cian Cronin, said: “The proposed developments will not have an unacceptable impact on the character or appearance of the adjacent listed buildings or conservation area, and will deliver improved facilities for the students and lecturers at the university.”

The latest improvements continue the university’s aims of investing millions of pounds in the campus on Upper Bognor Road.

The upgrading of facilities will increase the number of students on the site to ensure the university plays a leading role in Bognor’s regeneration.

The scheme backed by Mr Cronin involves creating the innovation centre in the student services building.

This will include a new entrance canopy and new external doors and a change of use from education to offices.

Mr Cronin’s report says the alterations are acceptable because they will improve the apppearance of the building.

The campus’ old library will also be refurbished into a 150-seat lecture theatre, three teaching rooms and two primary practical classrooms.

New windows and doors to be installed will match those in a neighbouring building to provide a more consistent appearance.

New and replacement doors and replacement windows will also be put in to the Assembly Hall.

A further element of the proposals is the demolition of the Mead Centre and the creation of 18 parking spaces on its site.

“The building is of no architectural merit and does not contribute positively to the listed buildings or the conservation area as a whole,” states Mr Cronin.

Its proposed replacement with parking will not damage the historic setting.