Sir Richard Hotham Project Bognor regeneration plans appeal result announced

Thomas Elliott, project director
Thomas Elliott, project director

An £80million regeneration project for Bognor Regis has been approved following an appeal.

The Sir Richard Hotham Project plans for key town sites were rejected by Arun District Council in February, 2017.

Arun's development control committee raised concerns over the scheme's design and parking provision - but following a hearing chaired by a government planning inspector, the project has been granted permission.

A decision notice was published today, following the February hearing.

It included a partial award of costs against the council, with the inspector ruling it was 'unreasonable' for the authority to pursue a parking objection in light of evidence to the contrary.

The decision will be welcomed by shareholders who backed the Sr Richard Hotham Project vision - but the focus will now be on Arun as to the next steps.

Arun owns the sites which the private organisation wants to develop and is progressing its own plans - including controversial designs for a linear park on the Hothamton car park.

Working with the Sir Richard Project would represent a major U-turn in its previous stance.

An Arun spokesman said: "Arun District Council can confirm it is aware that the appeal for the Sir Richard Hotham Project has been allowed. The council is currently reviewing the documents and will be in a position to comment in the near future.”

The now approved plans include building a theatre on the Hothamton site, a leisure complex, hotel and flats on the Regis Centre site and a 'destination restaurant' at the Esplanade Theatre, among other elements.

Visit https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?Caseid=3178817&CoID=0 for the full appeal decision and details of the scheme.