News about regeneration is due soon

DETAILS about the latest stage in the regeneration plans for Bognor Regis will be revealed in two weeks.

Arun District Council leader Cllr Gillian Brown has said an update on the proposal for up to £40m of work would be given in two weeks’ time.

She told the town’s civic society in an email: “At the council meeting on April 30, I will be presenting a report updating all members of the council with the latest situation regarding St Modwen’s proposals.”

The council and development company signed a deal in 2006 to transform the Regis Centre and Hothamton sites with redevelopment proposals worth £100m.

That agreement was last extended in November 2013 and will expire at the end of this year.

Cllr Brown’s statement was read out at the civic society’s meeting last Friday.

It came after a committee member of the society, Tony Dixon, asked the government’s Cabinet Office to investigate if the repeated extensions breached EU contract rules.

There is considerable confusion about the outcome. The civic society says Arun has been investigated and a new tendering process called for and the district council says the Cabinet Office had got it wrong and the current situation accorded with Euro procedures.

Mr Dixon told the meeting at the Regis Centre the latest email from the Cabinet Office said councils should look again at old contracts where work had not started and decide if they were still value for money.

“I will wait and see the agenda for the April 30 meeting and, if this matter is on it, I will sit patiently to see how the debate goes,” he said. He said he was seeking legal advice about the matter.

He was mainly concerned the decline in the scheme’s value had made the St Modwen’s agreement invalid.