Fire safety concerns with new Pavilion Park answered by district council

The district council has stepped in to ease concerns that Arun’s new Pavilion Park at Hothamton is ‘unworkable’ after a fire danger warning.

Hugh Coster, deputy chairman of the Bognor Regis Civic Society
Hugh Coster, deputy chairman of the Bognor Regis Civic Society

According to Hugh Coster, deputy chairman of the Bognor Regis Civic Society, he liaised with the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service on the design for the park, ‘which showed that the existing fire access safety slip road to the west of the 16-storey Fitzleet tower block will be replaced by car parking’.

He added: “The [fire] service said that they have advised Arun that this ‘will not comply with the building design regulations Part B5. To decrease accessibility to a high rise building from its current arrangements should be considered carefully’.”

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Mr Coster said the message he received from the fire service was ‘code for don’t do it’, delivered by experts’ and the scheme was ‘unworkable’ without reducing parking, which could damage trade.

Artist's impression of Hothamton regeneration plans

He added: “Arun have been ignoring our warnings about this ever since the Bognor Regis regeneration sub-committee approved this design in December 2017.”

In response to these concerns, the district council has issued the following statement: “As stated at the recent Bognor Regis regeneration subcommittee, the next stage of the Pavilion Park project is to engage with stakeholders. 

“Highly-experienced LUC (Land Use Consultants) has been appointed by ADC to develop the concept plans into a detailed design ready for a planning application.  

“West Sussex Fire and Rescue is one of several stakeholders who are due to be further engaged as the detail design is worked through. “The final scheme will adhere to all fire and other regulations; a planning consent would otherwise not be granted.”

ADC said a planning application and more public engagement is ‘anticipated later this year’ and the project was at an early stage.

A spokesman added: “The designs for the Pavilion Park will evolve as the scheme gathers pace.”