Councillor: Bognor council ‘should be brave for the town’ on regeneration

Councillor Matt Stanley (right) with district councillors Martin Smith and Francis Oppler on the Hothampton site. Picture: Kate Shemilt
Councillor Matt Stanley (right) with district councillors Martin Smith and Francis Oppler on the Hothampton site. Picture: Kate Shemilt

Town councillors have voted to spend more time looking Bognor regeneration, ideas despite missing Arun District Council’s deadline.

Over two emergency meetings last night, the Bognor Regis councillors spoke of the importance of ensuring any regeneration of the Arun-owned Hothampton site meets the needs of the town.

Newly-elected councillor Matt Stanley, who called the meeting, said: “We have a lot of ability in our town, we have a lot of creativity.

“We need to use that to provide a regeneration proposal that meets the needs of our residents.

“Our community have been very, very clear they want something different, that they do not think plans in place are adequate.”

Mr Stanley noted that the town council does not have the power to block Arun’s plans, since the district council owns the site.

However he called on his fellow town councillors to lobby Arun on behalf of Bognor residents.

Councillor Jan Cosgrove asked that all regeneration ideas be sent out to residents so they can give their views.

He said: “This is what this exercise is about, it’s about the people of the town having a voice.”

Mr Cosgrove also called on councillors to communicate the views of Bognor residents to Arun District Council.

He added: “We should not be scared. We should be brave for the town.”

Not all councillors were as vocal about the need to focus regeneration funds on the Hothampton site, however.

Councillor Jeanette Warr said: “As far as I am concerned we are a seaside town and we need to encourage out visitors back into the town itself.

“That is where we need the regeneration: the seafront itself. The small things are the things we need to concentrate on rather than those larger, grander ideas.”

Councillors voted to form a working party that will explore how best to consult residents on regeneration in the town and will report back within a month.