State of seafront comes under fire

MINI golf course operator Paul Tiernan has complained about the state of a prime area of Bognor Regis seafront.

Mr Tiernan said the eastern side of Waterloo Square had been left to become derelict in the past two summers.

The state of the three empty buildings had become so bad, cleaning company owner Alan McTernan went into action to tidy them up.

He said: “I’m sick and tired of the way Bognor is going. As a local businessman, I decided to do something about the situation.

“Arun District Council don’t seem to care, yet they are the landlords of the property. So, I thought I would tidy up the area.”

Mr Tiernan said: “It should not be left to an individual to take action. This is by far the worst the area has looked since I opened here in 1992.”

Lumps of fascias had fallen off the premises.

One was a former Polish restaurant which has been closed for several years. In the middle, a one-time Greek restaurant closed a couple 
of years ago and the adjoining property was an amusement arcade until some 18 months ago. There was also an ice cream parlour in another property.

Mr Tiernan said the lack of businesses had destroyed his evening trade in the past two summers.

“I used to stay open until 10pm and I would often have 15-20 people playing golf at 9.30pm,” he said. “Now, I shut at 8.30pm because there is just no reason for people to come down here.

“We are still busy during the days, but we are completely isolated at night.

“This was quite a vibrant place six or seven years ago, with people sitting out having meals and drinks, to give it a really good ambience, but now it’s bordering on dereliction.”

A spokeswoman for Arun said: “Although the district council are the freeholders for numbers 2-4 and 6-8 Waterloo Square, both properties are leased to private companies who have contractual obligations for their upkeep and repair.

“We are aware that the leaseholders have failed to comply with these obligations to maintain the properties to a suitable standard and we are working with them to resolve this situation”.