Arun District Council have stated that they will run a new consultation in 2015 to bring the Bognor Regis regeneration scheme back to the table after its partnership with St Modwen ended earlier this month.
The proposed two-site scheme was put forward eight years ago to enhance the area and included a multiplex cinema, restaurants and bars, hotel and flats around the Regis Centre site, whilst a 15,000sqft food store was planned along with parking for 295 cars and 100 flats on the Hothamton site.
St Modwen’s pulled out of the scheme earlier this month citing market conditions as the main reason. Chief Executive Nigel Lynn of Arun District Council said that the partnership agreement with St Modwen was formed before the economic downturn and many things had since changed.
Despite the setback, the council has said it will push forward with the plans and submit a planning application of its own for the regeneration, which it has tentatively valued at £50m.
Council leader Gillian Brown said: “Our priority now is to ensure that any future scheme offers residents, businesses and visitors’ long-term benefits and value for money. We are confident that the proposed sites will attract further private sector investment into the town.”
The council has allocated up to £500,000 for employing a project manager, architects, engineers and other specialists to facilitate consultation and submit the planning application. It intends to prepare the scheme by next February for its members to debate ready to submit an outline planning application in July, 2015. Possible approval could be granted three months later.
Arun DC will approach property developers with the approved scheme and ask them to submit tenders to build it.
Council chief Executive Nigel Lynn said: “We have put a lot of time and effort into this scheme to date and we want to get the best value for Bognor Regis. We are carrying out soft market testing at the moment to gauge the interest there would be in this scheme”.
“We will do more testing as the work progresses. The more people we have interested, the better it will be for the council taxpayer for the better development we will get”.
“The council getting planning permission will reduce the risk for the developer.”
Birmingham based St Modwen’s won the tender to deliver the developments in Bognor Regis in December 2007 after 18 months of talks and public exhibitions. At the time the scheme was valued at £105 million but had fallen to £25million last year.