North Bersted Scouts told their new base is ‘eyesore’

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Dismayed Scout leaders have seen their planned new base in North Bersted rejected as an eyesore.

The volunteers wanted to install a portable building as an HQ to replace a derelict structure on an existing site off Central Drive in a £35,000 project. But Arun District Council has refused them planning permission.

Scouting district commissioner Vicky Hennessy said she was dismayed by the rejection. An appeal would be made against the decision.

“I can’t see why the council didn’t approve this,” she said. “Putting in the new building would improve the site. It would not be visible from the road.

“The building it would replace is the original Scout hut in Bognor and is almost a hundred years old.

“It’s run down, collapsing, useless and is an eyesore which has asbestos in it. The new building would tidy up the area.”

The intended building would be used as the Scout’s Bognor district HQ and, for two hours a week, as a shop.

“It’s important to us to have this building,” said Mrs Hennessy. “It means we will save the £1,000 a year rent we pay for our existing shop.

“That money will be put back into providing more activities for our members. Having a headquarters will also stop us having to hold meetings in other district buildings which means they can’t hold Scout meetings on those nights.”

The proposed building would be 9.6m long, 2.8m high and 6m wide and just smaller than the present building.

Arun senior planning officer Katherine Rawlins said in her decision the proposed building would be seen from a boundary footpath if trees on the site died back or the vegetation was removed.

The proposed modular building had a functional, utilitarian design and appearance, painted dark green, with a flat roof.

“The design of the building does not reflect the main scout hut, which has a pitch roof and white rendered walls,” she stated. “The proposed building is, therefore, considered to be of a poor quality design and appearance.”