Revised £80m Bognor regeneration plans ready for submission

An artists impression of the seaside development proposed by the Sir Richard Hotham Project
An artists impression of the seaside development proposed by the Sir Richard Hotham Project

The £80m Sir Richard Hotham Project regeneration plans for Bognor Regis will be resubmitted ‘imminently’.

And the businessmen behind the ambitious venture say they are confident the fresh planning application answers the problems raised by Arun councillors when it was refused in March.

“I’m happy to confirm that we believe the resubmission of our planning application should be completed by the end of play on Wednesday,” Paul Rumke told the Observer on Tuesday. “We’ve been very eager to listen to what the Arun District Council officers have had to say.

“We believe we’ve come up with solutions to the previous objections and we’re very hopeful with how it will be received next time around.”

Mr Rumke said the overall design of the scheme had remained the same.

It involves ambitious redevelopment of three sites; the Regis Centre, Hothamton and the Esplanade Theatre.

The Regis Centre would be turned into a boardwalk of shops, a hotel, flats and a spa and gym; at Hothampton the new plans still include a 1,100-seater theatre; while a destination restaurant would be built on the Esplanade.

“There have been some changes but not to the overall design and not to the capacity of the theatre, which would allow the hosting of theatre productions, conferencing and music,” Mr Rumke said.

“It would bring a fantastic new facility to Bognor town centre and greatly increase footfall to the benefit of local traders.”

The project has also just received the backing of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a letter which said it would be interest in bringing world-class concerts to the proposed new theatre.

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