Bognor regeneration: residents should be able to submit ideas, too

I was pleased to see that Arun District Council was inviting people to submit regeneration ideas for Bognor Regis, writes Tony Turley, of Burley Road, Felpham.

Regis Centre Theatre and Brewers Fayre, Bognor Regis. Pic Steve Robards SR2006162 SUS-200616-174108001
Regis Centre Theatre and Brewers Fayre, Bognor Regis. Pic Steve Robards SR2006162 SUS-200616-174108001

I have in the past put forward ideas for the redevelopment of The Regis Centre and adjoining car park but as an individual I will not be allowed to put forward ideas this time, as the invitation excludes individual submissions.

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What I think is of paramount importance is the linking of the seafront, with the development and the connection of the development to the town centre.

For the first part it could be worth exploring the closure of The Esplanade or as I proposed the construction of a bridge, walkway or deck over The Esplanade. The deck could provide an ideal area for outside refreshments during the summer and other uses during the winter. The deck would be serviced from a restaurant in the development, which would also have indoor accommodation for more substantial meals throughout the year, with of course the benefit of sea views.

In order to connect the development with the town centre I would close off Belmont Street opposite The Arcade paving over the area between the two.

There is a need to accommodate cars within the development and I had proposed an underground car park. My suggestion for a tall observation tower has been superseded by Brighton’s.

Other individuals will have other ideas and it is a pity Arun has not asked for these. It is of course in the unique position of being the landowners and should I believe seek out the best ideas from all the submissions, incorporating these in a final scheme that hopefully will be constructed in the near future.