Bognor Regis seafront projects added to ‘priority list’

Councillors have added five projects to a ‘priority list’ aimed at improving the seafront in Bognor Regis.

During a meeting of Arun District Council’s economic committee, members were given an update on previous work in the town’s Seafront Delivery Plan, such as the Play on the Beach play area and the bandstand refurbishment.

They were then asked to decide if the five additional projects should be included on the priority list, which will be discussed in July.

The projects are:

Bognor Regis seafront with the newly-refurbished bandstand

The Bandstand Cafe, proposed for east of the bandstand, with indoor and outdoor seating. This was approved in 2018

New beach huts near Butlin’s, which were approved in 2016

A new cafe in the stalls zone near Clarence Road – although the meeting was told the one near the cafe would be the preferred option

Public realm improvements on the promenade between Butlin’s and the pier

Installing infrastructure for pop-up use, such as plug and play floor hatches, water and drainage in the stalls zone. This was approved in 2018.

The projects were praised by David Edwards (Con, Felpham East), who said the bandstand cafe was ‘a brilliant idea’ and the new beach huts a ‘no brainer’.

But Paul Dendle (Con, Arundel & Walberton) felt the council was ‘missing an opportunity’ when it came to the huts.

With demand high, he suggested ten of them could be sold at auction – with a reserve price of £20,000 – and the money used to pay for some of the other projects.

Another new idea came from Tony Dixon (Ind, Aldwick East), who said he was slightly concerned the council was ‘recycling old ideas’.

His idea involved an awful lot of sand.

Mr Dixon said: “I’m talking about an area of sandy beach where children can play, which is what we used to have many decades ago until the shingle was shipped in in the 1970s.

“Back in the day the sandy beach was Bognor Regis’s greatest asset and I think this council should explore reintroduction of the sandy beach in order to drive our regeneration efforts.”

New ideas, though, were a conversation for another day.

Chairman Andy Cooper (Con, Angmering & Findon) said: “We are not shutting the door on input moving forward. We are giving the green light to these projects. New things will come forward, can come forward.”

The committee agreed that all five projects should stay on the priority list.