Forewarning...

Arun District Council need look no further than Chichester to find out what a development focused around a multiplex cinema might turn out like.

The article from the Chichester Observer on Chichester Gate, published in December 2011, could be a forewarning of how the St Modwen proposals for the Regis Centre site might turn out. The Chichester Gate Leisure Park is described variously as ;a ghost town’, ‘tacky’, ‘with large empty buildings’ and ‘could be dying’.

The article says: “Traffic cones surround the empty Tandoori Nite restaurant, while the Fortune Inn Chinese restaurant remains closed. The former Chicago Rock and Live Lounge also closed its doors for good some time ago.

“The Cineworld cinema, Lakeside Superbowl bowling alley, Frankie & Benny’s, Wetherspoons and Nando’s are still pulling in customers during weekends and some evenings. The Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre also draws in visitors, but residents have questioned whether all this is enough to keep it going in the future.”

The problem is if a multiplex cinema and bowling alley, adjacent to a Premier Inn hotel, can’t pull in enough customers to sustain surrounding restaurants, then

what can?

By the way, St Modwen were selected as development partner by Arun District Council in July 2006, the Development Agreement was exchanged in December 2007, and was subsequently extended by up to threeyears until summer 2012. So why does St Modwen need yet another extension? Perhaps

St Modwen are struggling for ideas,and are trying to keep their options open by taking advantage of a council with all its eggs in one basket?

Tony Dixon

Barons Close,

Westergate