Traders want scheme to start

TRADERS have backed plans to improve the Bognor Regis shopping precinct.

About 20 businesses were represented in the first hour of a two-hour consultation session about the work.

They were overwhelmingly positive about the project to replace the current paving and street furniture.

Oliver Kirk, the London Road Coffee Shop’s duty manager, said: “It’s a really good thing. The precinct is not that good at the moment. It’s looking tired. People go elsewhere at the moment.

“The plans look good. They are fresh and bright and will bring a lot more people to Bognor. That will help businesses like ours.”

Bognor Regis Traders’ Association chairman Chris Heaps said: “I’m all for the proposal. It has got to be good for the town.

“It will spruce up the town centre and, hopefully, attract people to come in and see what we have to offer.

“It’s good to see some money spent in the town centre.”

The £600,000 scheme will see new paving, tree planting and street furniture installed along the precinct. Work should start on February 10 and last for 16 weeks until the end of May.

It is a joint project between Arun District Council, West Sussex County Council and Bognor Regis Town Council.

Rachel Alderson, Arun’s principal landscape officer, said at last Wednesday’s event: “People have been very positive about the scheme. They are looking forward to it starting.

“There will be a common theme of materials repeated all the way through the town centre. It will be repeated on streetlights, bins, benches and cycle racks.”

A ribbon of paving, slightly off-centre of the 275m-long precinct, will be of porphyry stone in red, purple, violet and orange.

It is being set to the west to allow for deliveries to be maintained along the precinct and because of the underground pipes and wires. The streetlights will have brackets for banners and hanging baskets.

“The project is very similar to that shown in the consultation last year which received such overwhelming support,” said Mrs Alderson.

The work is being carried out by Hobart Paving Company.

It recently finished improving West Street in Horsham and is working on Lansdowne Road in central Croydon.