Two key topics will be the new focus of civic society

A RENEWED focus on regeneration is to be made by Bognor Regis campaigners.

The committee of the town’s civic society has decided to change from its traditional activities.

It was announced at the annual meeting last Friday the usual monthly meetings of the past 16 years are set to be replaced by fewer sessions concentrating on two major issues.

Chairman Laurie Barnes said: “We perceive that this is the year St Modwen are either going to walk away from regeneration or go forward.

“We can’t assume they are going to leave and we are going to have a serious fight on our hands in that case regarding what happens on the Regis Centre site if they stay. That is going to involve a lot of effort.”

Development company St Modwen has until the end of the year to produce plans to redevelop the Hothamton car park and Regis Centre sites.

Its last known proposal featured a multiplex, hotel, bars and restaurants, flats and housing at the Regis Centre. For Hothamton, the scheme involved a 15,000sq ft food store and flats. The other key issue in the coming year will be new housing and flooding, said Mr Barnes.

“There is not a good argument for housing being in large numbers anywhere at the moment until such issues as flooding and infrastructure are solved. There also needs to be a relationship with job generation.”

The society has the resources to concentrate on those matters. “But we would be spreading ourselves too thinly if we looked at other matters as well,” he said.

Vice chairman Hugh Coster said extra meetings could be held on alternative topics. “We are not disappearing and we are not stopping. But, if people want us to look at other matters, it will be a case of them doing the work themselves,” he said.