Board Briefing Notes - April 2019

Briefing documents May 03 2019

Briefing Notes on Bognor Regeneration Board Meeting

17th April 2019 Butlin’s Conference Centre


1. Tour of new Splash Pool at Butlin’s

The Board thanked Jeremy Pardey, Resort Director, for the tour of the exciting new facility. The customer ratings to date are extremely high.


2. BID Update – Paul Wells Chair BID Board

There are significant issues with rough sleepers and policing levels which remain challenging. Reporting is happening via the secure DISC system which is positive, and the Community Warden is in place. The Market is now on Saturday as well as Thursday; as there are less stallholders they have been working with those willing to come using trial periods. It is work in progress to get them to adhere to the required standards and some have been discontinued.

He reported that there will be plenty of activities over the Easter weekend - entertainers in the precinct, a Spirit FM roadshow plus town advertising, seafront funfair and light switch-on and a kids’ bunny decorating competition, all co-ordinated into a full weekend offer.  Footfall up 5.1% on 2018 partially helped by the fact that last year’s poor weather. This is well above regional/national performance and shows market days are the most popular. Empty units are moving quickly - Trespass is going into Burton’s, Yours Clothing into Brighter Homes. The vacant 4Sight Arcade units are being marketed.


3. Future High Street Fund application

The Government Fund was announced over Christmas for High Street improvement as many are struggling. The Grimsey 2 Review sets out how high streets need to change as shopping habits are changing. The fund invited councils to bid; based on population Arun DC could only bid for one town, and with the focus on the criteria around challenges and a strong vision, Bognor Regis was chosen.

Stage 1 is an Expression of Interest (EOI) for this multi-million £ funding.  Around 350 bids are expected so it will be very competitive, the first sift will reduce this to c100 towns which will be invited to work up a full Business Case.

The EOI made a strong case in terms of the town’s challenges and set out an ambitious vision in terms of capital projects to deliver a destination town centre that is the beating heart of its community attracting visits from both residents and visitors. The timescale is that Arun DC should hear in the summer if the town has been successful in progressing to the next stage which, because of the substantial sums (estimated £5-10m per bid) will be a big task.

Arun DC did feed into the recent well-publicised House of Lords coastal towns report and presented Bognor Regis to the committee to raise the profile.


4. WSCC A29 consultation

A paper was presented on the A29 realignment consultation following on from a letter of support the Board wrote 2 years ago. Barnham-Eastergate-Westergate strategic housing site is in Local Plan and the A29 improvements will be funded by developer contributions, C2C LEP and WSCC. The project is estimated at c £55m. The first phase is to Barnham war memorial programmed for c 2021, then Phase 2 is by 2025.

It was noted that there has been local protestsdue to the scheme stopping north of Shripney. Concerns were raised about Saltbox/Oldlands Farm as the proposed scheme will simply move the bottleneck to near Shripney which would be mitigated if the new road could be extended for the last mile. However holding out for the last mile (estimated cost £20m+) could jeopardise the whole scheme, and the Coast to Capital LEP contribution is time-limited. There are also issues of land ownership, flooding and additional funding which are all problematic. It was agreed that the Board should support the A29 scheme whilst recognising that if actions can be taken to mitigate the impact at Shripney without a timing impact this would be welcome. 


5. Arun DC Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Consultation

A paper was presented on the CIL consultation. This clarified that Section 106 was negotiated for larger sites whereas CIL is charged for smaller developments. For new homes, it will be c £15k per average unit, and should help to cater for the infrastructure impact of new housing. There is a large funding gap for infrastructure in Arun and CIL should help close that gap. The question is are these charging levels reasonable in terms of enabling development? It will impact on house prices although it seems that the charging schedule is modest compared to other areas. It was agreed that the Board should positively respond to the consultation.


6. Gardens by the Sea Progress

(a) Hothamton Site: Pavilion Park: History: Urban Delivery used previous consultation evidence to produce concept designs; Arun DC members approved them plus delivery of the park, so officers have been proceeding with it. At a recent community stakeholder engagement event, the contractor LUC were introduced, and they showcased their previous experience including the Eden Project and Olympic Park, plus The Level in Brighton which is a similar project. It was a small group of community stakeholders and produced useful feedback. In respect of antisocial behaviour issues, the PCSOs present were able to provide positive reinforcement of the ideas tabled. The timeline is to submit a planning application in the summer, contractor on site in spring 2020, and complete in 2021. The group’s view was strongly in favour of a better park rather than car parking. In tandem, Arun DC is looking at improving the Fitzleet multi-storey.

A detailed design will come later, but the concept retains the current number of car parking spaces. The design has parking down one side with the NW side remaining with open parking. There are 3 zones proposed – play, events, garden/relax space, with the Pavilion Café at the north end near the play zone. The Board noted that outdoor water play has limited use in the UK and a high on-cost, it could be small and illuminated so it looks great at night like the facility at Southsea.

The west side of the site is for residential development which may or may not include the health centre site. It was asked if funding was in place to deliver the park. It was confirmed that Arun DC has agreed to fund it but will also seek external funding like the Future High Streets Fund. Delivery of the park will increase land values for the residential area. It was commented that much could be done to improve Fitzleet car park before the park development starts i.e. to improve access and signage, improve lighting to reduce anti-social behaviour and making it feel safer, replace lifts, widen exits, widen spaces. It was suggested that  Arun DC works with the BID on this

(b) Regis Centre site –Arun DC are still in conversation with Whitbread’s. It was explained that Whitbread has a proscribed list of development sites based on financial return and they know the site and revenues because of their seafront Regis Pub. They are developing new sites quite fast and  recently announced a new Premier Inn in Chichester at the fuel dump site close to the A27/A259 Bognor Regis roundabout.


7. Planning Applications

Saltbox has a June decision date, The Royal is a delegated officer decision (Post Meeting Note – planning  was approved on 29/4) and the University Student Accommodation is also coming forward


8. AOB

Economic Strategy –Arun DC is reviewing the Arun Economic Development strategy. A stakeholder workshop was held in late March around the evidence base with another workshop planned for May.

A27 Arundel consultation – this has been delayed, but WSCC are keen to get businesses on video about why it’s so badly needed.

Industrial Strategy - Jonathan Sharrock, CEO from Coast to Capital LEP will attend the next meeting to present the LEP’s Industrial Strategy in respect of Bognor Regis as well as its wider context; Placebranding - HemingwayDesign have completed analysis of the perception survey and can present their analysis and subsequent  actions  to the next Board .


David Myers

3rd May 2019


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