Morrisons plans - It's business as usual during supermarket rebuilding in Bognor

Shoppers in Bognor Regis have been assured Morrisons will carry on trading while its planned new store is being built.

The company wants to replace its current cramped store with a multi-million investment in premises almost twice as big.

The scale of the building work on the relatively-small plot between Bedford Street and High Street means the existing store will have to be demolished to allow the builders of its replacement to move in.

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It could take 36 weeks to construct the new store. But a Morrisons spokeswoman said the company was aware of the impact the loss of the store would have on the town centre for such a long time.

"The multi-million pound proposed scheme is a complicated development

proposal on a constrained town centre site," she said. "Continuation of trade while the new store is constructed is as important to Morrisons as it is to the town.

"We are working towards a plan that will enable us to continue trading in Bognor during the construction period, should be the planning process be successful."

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Arun District Council is due to consider the plans by Morrisons for the store with its 32,050sq ft of selling space from September onwards.

If the scheme is approved, Morrisons is likely to start work in 2010.

Bringing a new look to the face of Bognor shopping

Morrisons will transform the appearance of Bognor Regis High Street if the company receives approval from councillors.

The retailer's proposed store is twice the size of its existing premises in Bedford Street and will dominate the plot of about 1.4 hectares.

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The intention is to build an outlet with a gross floor space of 74,595sq ft/ 6,930sq m compared with the existing gross floor space of 37,882sq ft/ 3,520sq m.

Providing space for a cafe, toilets and extra storage areas will see the proposed sales area being slightly smaller than double the current space at 32,055sq ft/ 2,978sqm against 18,783sq ft.

Its size will be about 60 per cent of Tesco on Shripney Road.

Turnover is predicted to be 32.78m a year based on the average Morrisons sales of 11,008 for each square metre.

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The intended store, three storeys high, will become a prominent feature of the western end of the High Street with its main entrance there.

A statement by Aedas Architects as part of Morrisons' planning application said: "The building is positioned to the south of the site with a frontage to High Street. The building occupies the width of the site back from this in a principally rectangular form.

"The sales floor is at first floor with covered accessible and standard car parking below.

"Further parking with some accessible parking is level with the sales floor on a car deck laid out to the north of the site."

Peacock and Smith, Morrisons' consultants, commented: "The

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application scheme will provide for a significant improvement in the

appearance of the site through the demolition of the Morrisons store and the Fitzleet car park above.

"In place, a store of contemporary design will be provided that better addresses the street scene on High Street and which maintains an active frontage given the new speculative (retail) unit provided at ground-floor level.

"Bedford Street will also become a more attractive street to explore

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given the wider pavements that will be provided as part of the development."

The proposed building's first-floor frontage will feature the restaurant looking out over the High Street.

A smaller second floor will be given over to storage and plant space along with facilities for the 320 staff after an extra 150 employees have been taken on.

Access will also be provided from Bedford Street.

The area to the north of the current store will also be changed by the


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Morrisons has dubbed the new-look site 'Bedford Square' as it will be opened up by the demolition of the store and about six-storey Fitzleet multi-storey car park above.

Twice as many parking spaces

Car parking for Morrisons will double through the development. Spaces for 332 vehicles will be provided compared with the store's current 175 spaces off Queensway.

Most of the new spaces will be below the store, which will be built on stilts above them, with 107 on decking to the north.

But the Fitzleet multi-storey car park above the current store will be bulldozed.

That has 387 spaces over eight levels.

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Peacock and Smith says a parking survey shows it is operating well below capacity to mean its loss would have only a minimal impact on the town centre.

"The level of parking provision provided at the new Morrisons store would also be slightly above Arun District Council's maximum standard.

"Furthermore, the proposed car park will be available to all town-centre shoppers, thus meeting wider needs other than the Morrisons store.

"In that regard, general town-centre parking would be maintained on the site."

Two new shops proposed

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Two new shops are proposed by Morrisons to add to the range of retailers in Bognor Regis town centre.

One is placed alongside its proposed High Street entrance.

This will measure 3,035sq ft/ 282sq m. The other will be in the site's northeastern corner along Bedford Street and will be smaller at 1,249sq ft/116sq m. No occupiers have been lined up for them.

A retail planning statement by Peacock and Smith for Morrisons says: "They will help to maximise activity along the High Street frontage of the new store and enhance pedestrian linkage from London Road, the prime retail area of the town centre."

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