Boost for Bognor Regis parks

A near £100,000 boost for open spaces around Bognor Regis was due to be agreed by councillors this week.

The benefit for the sites was recommended for approval by Arun District Council’s development control committee.

The money will be paid by the developer of two plots of housing around the former Bognor Regis Community College site.

A report to the committee by Cian Cronin, an Arun senior planning officer, says the council will receive £90,544 from the unnamed developer towards improving public open spaces nearby and play areas.

Likely locations to be benefit are the Hampshire Avenue recreation ground and Queen’s Field village green in West Meads.

The money will be paid by the developer to compensate for the removal of previously agreed open spaces on the new housing estates.

Talks with the developer showed the company ‘...considered that the level of play space and public open space required would consume an overtly large take of land on the site and render the development unviable’, Ms Cronin says.

“Following further consideration, and the drafting of a play strategy, the provision of a play area and public open space on site is not required but an off-site contribution should be providing to an existing nearby play site.”

The developer was also seeking to cut the amount of social housing to be provided among the 114 homes to be built on land to the south of the college’s playing fields and to the east of them from 40 per cent to 30 per cent.

This reduction is needed, Ms Cronin says, because of the downturn in the housing market and current economic climate.

Keeping the affordable housing at the previously-agreed level would make the new development unaffordable to build.

Once agreed, the new requirements will be placed in a detailed planning application which will require the council’s approval before any work on the housing can begin.

Outline planning permission was granted in November 2009 to establish the principle of development on the land.