News Archive

ST MODWEN PUBLISHES QUESTIONNAIRE FEEDBACK RESULTS

Feedback from January consultation unveiled

St Modwen has published a report prepared by public consultation specialists M & N Communications which analyses the statistics and comments from questionnaire responses received during the first community consultation for the regeneration of the Regis Centre and Hothamton sites in Bognor Regis town centre. The report was presented to Arun District Council’s Regeneration Sub Committee on Thursday 3 April.

The purpose of this consultation in January 2008 was to present initial concept ideas for the sites, working within the parameters set by Arun’s adopted Masterplan and Marketing Brief which specified mixed use proposals for both sites – building on the foundations of previous consultations undertaken by the council.

Jo Sistern from M & N Communications comments: “Following the extensive consultation programme, which included the fantastic attendance of 2,200 people at the public exhibition, we received a total of 653 completed feedback questionnaires from the box at the public exhibition, by the freepost, Schools and Wavelength workshops and through the dedicated project website. The extent and detail of comments on the questionnaires and from some 30 letters received is proving to be hugely useful to St Modwen and the design team as they progress the detailed design for the scheme.”

Key findings included the wish for improved retail provision, with over half of respondents stating support for having a new high quality food store in the town centre, the need for increased public parking with 76% stating they would like to see an increase in the current provision and also a strong desire for improved pedestrian links between the town centre and the seafront (77%).

The closure of The Esplanade was a major topic of interest at the exhibition and the questionnaire feedback reflected the mixture of views. However, the majority (57%) were supportive of the initial concepts for closing The Esplanade, providing suitable alternative routes for traffic could be proved.

-more over-

Gary Morris, Senior Development Manager of St Modwen, comments:

“We were delighted to see that the vast majority of people who responded (80%) support the regeneration of the two sites. There was also strong support for improved public realm and more seafront uses.

“There was some concern expressed on issues such as the height, design and location of the tower and the form of residential on the Regis Centre site. As part of the detailed development of the masterplan, we will need to explore all issues relating to these elements of the scheme and demonstrate the best possible design solution.”

Gary Morris concludes:

“We greatly value the feedback and ideas put forward by the community from all of the consultation activities, of which the questionnaire was just one element. The proposals for the two sites will now be developed in more detail following this feedback and ongoing technical studies.

St Modwen’s next community consultation on the more detailed proposals is being planned for summer 2008, to include a further public exhibition along with another schools’ workshop, the Wavelength Community Discussion Group and other ongoing stakeholder meetings.”

The feedback analysis report can be viewed alongside a copy of the information displayed at the exhibition at www.stmodwen-bognorregis.co.uk.

– ENDS –

Notes to editor

Leisure

On the Regis Centre site, St Modwen proposes an Entertainment Centre with flexible space for live performance, film, music, art galleries and conference space, sitting alongside a new bowling alley, restaurants, cafes, and possibly a new expanded multi-use library (Please note that relocating the library to the Hothamton site as an alternative is also being considered). All of this is proposed to be set within a new seafront landscape with space for a whole range of outdoor activities – from pockets of quiet relaxing reading areas to space for volleyball, outdoor performance and any other uses which may well come out of this consultation exercise.

Residential

Responding to the Development Brief approved by Arun District Council, the scheme also includes residential. Both development sites were identified as ‘mixed-use’ by the Council in its adopted Development Brief, to ensure maximum regeneration benefits. It is a widely held view that including residential across both sites will provide a boost to the regeneration objectives, thereby supporting local businesses and leisure facilities and as importantly it will act as a catalyst to attract further new facilities and investment into the town. At this stage, it is too early to provide the exact number of units across the two sites. This will become clear once the final heights of the buildings have been established and the details of the other uses for the two sites have been confirmed.

Offices

On the Hothamton site, St Modwen will be providing 25,000 sq ft offices for the County Council which could bring around 250 workers into the area. St Modwen is also currently undertaking a study into office demand in the area to establish demand for further office development.

Retail

Through a proposed new foodstore, St Modwen is looking to bring a new high quality offer to the Town Centre, which is currently not provided. It is hoped this will prevent the exodus out of town for people to do their shopping which will not only prevent car journeys but will also keep spending in the town centre. Retailer studies have shown that the site is not desirable for comparison retailers who prefer to be situated in the main cluster of town centre shopping of London Road.

Background

The scheme represents a £100m regeneration of two key town centre sites in Bognor Regis, West Sussex.

After a competition between developers and extensive public consultation, St Modwen was chosen by Arun as its preferred developer in July 2006 on the strength of its proposals to deliver a comprehensive mixed-use scheme – to include an entertainment centre and bowling alley, plus a new health centre and library, along with shops, restaurants, cafés/bars, homes and extensive works to the promenade and the pedestrianisation of The Esplanade.

A key aspect of the proposals is the Entertainment Centre; a ‘destination’ film and performance venue, including a cinema and flexible performing arts space. St Modwen is currently marketing the opportunity to interested managing operators UK wide. The developer is also looking to build a unique ‘building on the beach’ as an architectural landmark, which could house a high profile restaurant.

St Modwen is hoping to start on site in late 2009 / early 2010 with completion in 2013/4.

The sites

The two sites, as identified in the masterplan adopted by Arun District Council in 2004, are the ‘Leisure Heart’ site, now referred to as the Regis Centre and the ‘Healthy Living’ site now referred to as the Hothamton site. The Regis Centre site is located between Clarence Road, Belmont Street and the seafront. The Hothamton site is located west of London Road and bounded by Queensway, West Street and Steyne Street.

The developer

St. Modwen Properties Plc (St Modwen) is the U.K.’s leading regeneration specialist operating in all sectors of the property industry, focusing on town centre regeneration, brownfield land renewal and heritage restoration.

St Modwen works extensively in partnership with private and public sector organisations, continually mindful of the impact of their developments on the communities in which they operate. More information can be found at www.stmodwen.co.uk

For Further Media Information:

Jo Sistern or Natalie Moorse at M & N Communications, Public Relations for St Modwen

Tel: 01483 415915

Joe McMann, Public Relations Officers at Arun District Council

Tel: 01903 737606/7; Mob: 07733 125756