‘Feasibility’ report worth £260k proposed as ‘next step’ for Bognor’s regeneration

Arun Civic Centre
Arun Civic Centre

A full Arun District Council meeting tonight (July 20) will vote on whether to spend more than a quarter of a million pounds on Bognor Regis regeneration ‘feasibility studies’.

The much-anticipated meeting, which had long been fixed in the diary as a ‘date for answers’ on the project, will see a ‘next step’ report presented by Karl Roberts, director of planning and economic regeneration.

In the report it recommends Arun District Council approve the estimated £260,000 ‘collective cost’ to commission a consultant’s report.

Mr Roberts will also recommend ‘the council continues to support, in principle’ a scheme to regenerate the existing Alexandra Theatre and adjacent public house, ‘through either improvements and modifications or complete redevelopment’.

He will outline that this would seek to ‘provide an enhanced ‘cultural offer’ and a ‘landmark building accommodating visitor attraction(s), residential development and restaurant(s)’.

While the existing Place St Maur area would be ‘a public realm for events and activities’.

It also calls for ‘delegated authority’ to be granted to Mr Roberts, ‘in consultation with the leader of the council’, to procure the feasibility studies on both sites and ‘to draw down and authorise expenditure’.

The report also features an ‘advice’ document by Urban Delivery dated June 2016.

Urban Delivery helped the council assess the viability of the St Modwen schemes, principles of which it states ‘will guide future development’.

The 57 pages go on to cover ‘recent progress’, varying degrees of involvement for the council - from acting as developer to selling the land - and the possible merits of ‘de-coupling’ the two sites.

It states the latter ‘may allow the Hothamton Site to progress in advance of the Regis Centre’.

Dividing The Regis Centre into plots, allowing Whitbread’s the hotel rights and predicted completion dates for each option are also listed with the ‘longest of all’ delivery routes deemed to be Autumn 2020.

Costing and designs, which it repeatedly stresses are ‘indicative’ only are also featured.