Work to clear bushes and mounds near the Regis Centre has proved controversal this week.
Arun District Council’s explanation that it is a bid to ‘improve the links between the seafront and the town centre’ has resulted in some suggesting a sign would have been more effective, while others have welcomed the move.
A spokesman for Arun District Council said plans to remove the planting ‘has been under consideration by the council for some time’.
They added: “These bushes obscure the view across Place St Maur towards the town centre and York Road and people in the town centre, at York Road or Belmont Street, can’t see the seafront.
“All of our key strategies identify the need to improve the links between the seafront and the town centre and improving sightlines are part of the solution to this.
“Opening up this sightline will have the effect of drawing more people from the seafront into the town and vice versa via Place St Maur. The grass mound will be retained for people to sit on, or use for events and it will be similar to the other grass mounds that are in this area.”
The work, which was due to be completed by Friday but saw efforts continue this week, also prompted anger due to the lack of consultation.
When put to the council, the spokesman replied: “These shrubs are the responsibility of Arun District Council and are on council land. Consultation is not usual for a small scale job of this nature.”
Commenting on the Observer’s Facebook page, Alison Sheppey described the project as ‘nuts’. She said: “A sign would have worked better. Illuminated so you can see it when it’s chucking it down. Why rip up the plants.”
Sue Elsey wrote: “What is the point? Have they nothing else better to do? Seems like Arun DC are hellbent at destroying all the green spaces in the area. The bushes help soak up dangerous nitrates from car fumes.”
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