The renaissance of Bognor Regis is gathering pace with the Council’s endorsement of initial concepts being proposed in the seaside town. Ideas were presented on Monday evening by property consultancy Urban Delivery to Arun District Council’s Bognor Regis Regeneration sub-committee.
This built upon work carried out by an award-winning professional team on a feasibility study considering development options on the Regis Centre and Hothamton car park sites.
Urban Delivery is a specialist consulting firm advising the private and public sector on development and regeneration projects across the country. They have worked on a wide range of projects in the leisure, heritage, cultural, retail and mixed-use sectors. The firm is leading the professional team commissioned by Arun District Council to prepare the feasibility study.
Unlocking the Full Potential
Karl Roberts is Director of Place at Arun District Council. He says, “This study encapsulates the bold and innovative thinking we feel is needed to unlock the full potential of Bognor Regis. These sites have been waiting too long for the redevelopment proposed. The time is now right to make it happen.”
Significant investment already secured for Bognor Regis involving University of Chichester, Bourne Leisure and other parties already amounts to over £100M. This investment will build on the existing cultural and tourism attractions but add a creative and digital mix to support the expected influx of students and a younger generation of residents. The County Council are also committed to improving the road network and the District Council has secured grant support for major public realm improvements to the town centre.
Gillian Brown is Leader of the Council at Arun District Council. She says, “Following extensive consultation in 2015 on what residents wanted to see on both sites, this study clearly shows we have listened. Our aim remains one of encouraging economic and social regeneration and to do justice to the opportunities presented by these key sites. Bognor Regis richly deserves the major investment which the town is attracting. New jobs, new housing and finally the new thinking needed to fully exploit the sites under discussion.”
Bognor Regis Regeneration, “Gardens by The Sea”
Fundamental to the options developed within the feasibility study were two key aspects. The first was improving connectivity between the town centre and the seafront. The second was creating a destination which will attract all rear round visitors . The proposed linear park for the Hothamton site will direct pedestrian traffic to and from the Regis Centre. This will also be promoted under the concept of ‘Gardens by the Sea’. Central to the Bognor Regis Regeneration is the opportunity to build a 3,000 sqm Winter Garden on the Regis Centre site. This would be integrated with the new theatre.
The rest of this iconic seafront site could have a hotel. It could also include a raised seating area around the retail and restaurants to improve views of the sea. In addition there might be a roof garden/performance space above the new theatre. There will also be high quality residential accommodation overlooking the Esplanade with improved landscaping and traffic management.
Further residential accommodation, including provision for some affordable homes, is proposed on the Hothamton car park site. The new park could provide a variety of uses for both children and adults. These could include a new play area, adult gym and possibly a boule/petanque pitch. Other uses could include water features, public seating and cycle routes.