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ADC Representation

Bognor Regis Town Centre Development Opportunities

 

Background

The 2007  Town Centre Development Agreement between Arun District Council (ADC) and St. Modwen was mutually terminated at the end of August 2014. The steep decline in the economic environment meant that St Modwen’s Scheme could not generate the  level of return needed to deliver a compliant variation of the Development Agreement.  In particular, the St Modwen Scheme would not be able to finance the public elements of the scheme, and the degree of shortfall would be too great to be within the existing procurement process. 

ADC at their full council meeting in September 2014 confirmed their continued commitment to regenerating the town centre’s two sites at the Regis Centre and the Hothamton car park. 

 

Public Consultation

In September 2014 ADC placed a full page advertisement in the Bognor Regis Observer, committing to ‘the broadest public consultation Bognor Regis’ has ever seen. This was followed in October with a further advertisement inviting interested parties to submit their ideas and suggestions for complementary and commercially viable schemes for the development of the two sites by  February 2015. This was followed in the New Year by a wider and generic (not scheme specific) public consultation exercise. A total of 14 submissions were received, details of these and the public  consultation can be found at www.arun.gov.uk/bognorregisregeneration along with the 2003 Bognor Regis Town Centre Masterplan.The proposals and feedback received were  presented to the Full Council in July  2015 and the following was agreed: 

1. The Council re-affirms its support for the guiding principles of the 2003 Bognor Regis Town Centre Masterplan

2. The Council re-affirms its support for the vision and development principles (as

amended in the report) for the Regis Centre in the 2003 Master Plan.

3. The Council re-affirms its support for the vision and development principles (as

amended in the report) for the Hothamton Car Park in the 2003 Master Plan.

4. That Council supports the continued evolution of regeneration schemes for the Regis

Centre and Hothamton Car Park sites and the intention to bring back future reports in

2015 and 2016 on what the key constituent parts should be of any development

schemes and the various procurement options available to deliver the preferred

developments.

5. The  Council confirms that any future schemes for the redevelopment of either

the Regis Centre or Hothamton site should not contain a Cinema.

 

Subsequently a report was presented at Full Council in November  2015 inviting Councillors to determine what the key constituent parts should be of any development schemes. The November Full Council agreed to explore the options below for ADC to drive the delivery to maximise income and regeneration benefits rather than market the  opportunities.

Hothamton site to be retail, decked car parking fringed with retail/office/workshop space, with student/staff accommodation above.

Regis site, to be  split into the following Packages to be developed independently:

Package A will be improved theatre, gallery, multi-use space.

Package B (SE site) – pub, hotel, restaurant, residential above.

Package C (current Regis pub) – attraction with café/shop housed in tall landmark building with residential and possibly restaurant above.

Package D - Place St Maur and Package E - decked car parking with active frontage onto Belmont Street/Clarence Road.

 

In the 20 July 2016 Full Council meeting Members approved a supplementary

estimate of up to £260,000 to cover the collective costs of commissioning detailed

Feasibility Studies for the redevelopment of the Regis Centre and Hothamton Car

Park sites.

1.2 The purpose of these studies was to investigate the feasibility (including financial)

and proof of concept of the proposed elements to regenerate these sites. The

proposed development packages and uses for the sites were set-out in detail and

agreed in the 11 November 2015 Full Council report.

1.3 The new development proposals were also required to reflect the 2003 Bognor

Regis Masterplan guiding principles:

 Creating a series of integrated character areas themed around particular

activities.

 Strengthening the physical and visual links between the promenade and

 Encouraging a better shopping experience.

 Improving the perceived quality of the townscape and public realm through

improvements to key building facades, streets and spaces.

 Creating a better balance between vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

 Providing a quality visitor experience to encourage more visitor activity and

secure more investment for the tourism product.

 Creating a sense of arrival at the town.

 

In October 2016 consultants were appointed to prepare detailed feasibility studies

for the redevelopment of the Regis Centre and Hothamton Car Park sites. They

were instructed to consider the development options for each site that would

provide the key elements the Council desired to see included in the development

(as set out in the report to Full Council on 11 November 2015), the financial viability

of each proposal and the delivery options available to the Council for achieving

development.

 

The consultants Bognor Regis Masterplan Options Report was received in February 2017 and at the full council meeting on the 8th March 2017 it was agreed that:

1) The Gardens by the Sea / Winter Gardens concept as described in the 2017

Bognor Regis Masterplan Options Report and the conclusions described in the

2017 Regis Centre & Hothamton Masterplans Market, Viability & Delivery Report,

be supported.

2) Option 2 for the Regis Centre site (New Theatre Option) is the preferred Masterplan

option. Officers may progress this proposal to develop a more thorough

understanding of the opportunities and risks of implementing such a proposal, the

appropriate scale and phasing, and the potential funding packages and delivery

vehicle approaches that might support it. Option 1 (Refurbishment of Theatre) will

remain as an alternative option should the scale of the funding package for Option

2 be unachievable.

3) Option 1 for the Hothamton Car Park site is the preferred Masterplan option and

officers progress this proposal, taking into consideration the potential funding and

delivery vehicle approaches that might support it, ready to market the site.

4) The Council supports the principle of including the area of the Esplanade between

Clarence Road and Place St Maur within any new public realm scheme for the

wider regeneration of the site.

5) The Council supports the Bognor Regis Place Branding initiative developed in

partnership with other agencies.

6) Authority be given to the Director of Place to begin discussions, early in the project

development process, with specialist advisors and key external partners of the

proposed theatre, cultural hub and Winter Gardens, and in consultation with the

Head of Corporate Support Group, to ensure the operational business plan and

governance arrangements (legal structure) are fully considered and will influence

the functionality and scope of the new building(s) and potential funding

opportunities.

7) Authority be given to the Director of Place to enter into discussions with the NHS

Trust / Community Health Partnerships to include the Health Centre site within the

Hothamton car park site development area, subject to a satisfactory agreement

being found.

8) Authority be given to the Director of Place to engage with the Bognor Regis Town

Council regarding the future use of the Bognor Regis Town Hall and investigate

options to include this building within the development site.

9) Authority be given to the Director of Place to enter into discussion with West

Sussex County Council, as the highway authority, to consider any highway

implications and costs associated with the above and to prepare concept plans for

any proposed works.

ADC's press release on the town centre regeneration can be viewed here 

In December 2017 ADC agreed to move forward with the initial plans for the Hothamton Car Park site with the development of  a new Leisure Park 

ADC are in the process of appointing consultants in September 2018 to move forward the project to a planning application. 

 

A  new  ADC administration was elected in May 2019 and at  a full cabinet meeting on the 8th July it  was decided to :

1. To revisit the  future of the Hothamton car park site and develop three alternative proposals for the areas previously designated for the Pavillion Park, which focus on the Sunken gardens  and Hothamton play area only. These proposals will not include any residential  development and the health centre will not be  affected by any of the plans put  forward.

 

2.Terminate the previously approved option and  consultant appointment 

 

3.To draw up  a brief for Cabinet to consider prior to public  consultation

 

The Sir Richard Hotham Project 

The Sir Richard Hotham Project  submitted a planning application for the development of the Hothamton, Regis centre sites and a restaurant on the existing promenade skate park site. The application was refused by ADC's Development Control Committee at the end of February 2016. The application was resubmitted and was again rejected in February 2017. An appeal date was set for February 2018 with the result that the planning inspector approved the appeal in July 2018 ADC, as the landowner,  have subsequently decided to pursue their own plans for the Regis Centre site .

 

At  the July 2019 ADC Cabinet it  was  decided that the Council's policy on the Project  will remain unchanged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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