Littlehampton town centre public realm improvements

Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm Improvements is the name of a multi million pound project starting in January 2022. The improvements will make the town centre a more attractive place to visit, shop and enjoy for residents and visitors.

The term “public realm” is used to describe the public spaces between shops and buildings. It includes the pedestrianised shopping area, town centre roads, pavements, lighting, public seating, street furniture and trees.

As the project progresses, we will post regular updates on this page detailing how it may affect businesses and shoppers.

Contacting us

News on the progress of the scheme and how this may affect your business or visit into Littlehampton will be posted in this section. Work begins in January 2022.

Why we’re regenerating the town centre

The aim is to improve the look and feel of Littlehampton town centre and make it a great place to work, visit, socialise and spend time.

Regeneration hopes to attract private sector investment and transforming the town centre to meet changing shopping and leisure habits.

Similar schemes across the country and locally, such as Bognor Regis, have been successful in attracting external investment and injecting new life into the town centre.

This will be done by: -

  • changing road layouts and traffic flow to give pedestrians priority and better use of public open spaces
  • resurfacing pavements, roads and pedestrianised areas with higher-quality materials to make it look more attractive
  • replacing benches, trees, public art and street furniture (bins etc.) to make spaces appear more open
  • making it easier for shoppers and visitors to find their way around the town centre on foot
  • improving the area between Littlehampton Railway Station and the town centre to make arrival approach into town by train more welcoming
  • contributing to the bigger regeneration plans for Littlehampton, including improving links between the town centre, riverside and seafront

How the town will look

Littlehampton town centre clock tower view

Littlehampton town centre arcade view

Littlehampton town centre high street view

The proposed colour scheme and suggested paving, road and kerbing materials formed part of the public consultation exercise in 2016.

The final materials and designs may alter if this is recommended by Highways and / or civil engineers working on the scheme.

All the materials used will comply with national safety standards.

We will publicise the final designs and materials once all due diligence and testing has been carried out.

Our aim is to create an overall look and atmosphere that is unique to Littlehampton.

The phases

  • Phase 1 – Terminus Road from Littlehampton Railway Station across Arundel Road into the High Street (no funding available yet)
  • Phase 2 – High Street shopping precinct, including the junction with Surrey Street and side streets leading to the town centre, including Duke Street, St Martin’s Lane, Clifton Road and the Arcade (funding in place)
  • Phase 3 – East Street through to the junction with the High Street and Beach Road (funding in place)
  • Phase 4 – Surrey Street to the Look and Sea Centre and the links with Pier Road and New Road (no funding available yet)
  • Phase 5 – The War Memorial roundabout in Beach Road (no funding available yet)

Funding

The Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm improvements comprises of five key phases with a total cost of around £6 million and funding of £3.5 million is now in place to deliver Phase 2 and Phase 2 of the scheme.

This includes £2.45 million from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund (confirmed in April 2019), £564,000 from Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership Local Growth Fund (confirmed in October 2019) and £200,000 from both Arun District Council and Littlehampton Town Council (confirmed in December 2019).

We plan to apply for further external funding to complete all phases of Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm as the project progresses.

The grant funding can only be spent on the Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm Improvements project.

Who’s doing the work

We have commissioned expert construction project management consultants Faithful+Gould to act as our professional team, acting as project manager, cost consultant and highways advisor.

Faithful+Gould are responsible for managing the procurement and tendering process for all elements of the work and have worked with us in the appointment of Edburton Contractors to carry out the first two phases of the work.

They also ensure key partners and stakeholders are working in a timely fashion and that the necessary permissions are in place to allow the works to take place.

Minimising disruption

Work is due to start in January 2022, to allow traders and shoppers to avoid disruption during the Christmas retail period. 

All shops and businesses will be able to stay open during the works and emergency service access will be maintained at all times.

Arun District Council and Littlehampton Town Council are determined to keep Littlehampton’s shops, restaurants and cafés “Open for Business” during the works, especially after the loss of income suffered due to the coronavirus crisis.

We will keep all key stakeholders informed during the works.

The works will be completed in small physical “chunks” to limit disruption.

Arrangements will be in place to allow deliveries to shops to continue during the works.

We will do our best to ensure street markets can continue to operate during the works.

If we need to relocate markets as work takes place, we will make sure the changes are publicised.

The aim is to improve pedestrian priority in shopping areas whilst accommodating the access needs of traders.

Face to face interviews with traders have been carried out to understand their delivery needs and preferences for parking and loading arrangements in the project area.

Their views are being shared with highways experts who will create proposals which ensure parking and loading bays are wide enough for the vehicles using them and that there are safe crossing points for pedestrians.

Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) which control highway access and on-street parking are being reviewed to ensure concerns around parking spaces, time restrictions, loading bays and disabled parking are addressed.

In some areas, pavements may be widened to reduce traffic speed and make it easier to navigate the town on foot.

Public consultation

Key stakeholders, businesses and members of the public have been consulted and involved in the development of the Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm scheme since day one.

In 2016, problem areas and ideas for improvement were identified during a stakeholder “walkabout” in the town.

The findings were used in the design plans prepared by design company LDA, which were then subject to a three-week public consultation exercise, along with a display of some of the potential materials for paving slabs.

Support for the Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm proposals from all sectors of the community was overwhelmingly positive and you can view the results of the consultation here: Town Centre Public Realm Consultation Report 2016.pdf [pdf] 2MB

History of the project

In 2016, the District Council ran a series of public consultation exercises on design proposals for improvements to the main shopping areas.

This included “walkabout” sessions with key stakeholders to identify problem areas, a public exhibition of the draft design plans and materials and a detailed survey of traders to explore their aspirations and hopes for the town centre.

The feedback (see Town Centre Public Realm Consultation Report 2016.pdf [pdf] 2MB), helped shape the final Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm Improvements designs which were approved by Arun’s Full Council in 2016.

The Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm Improvements comprises five key phases projected to cost around £6 million. Funding of £3.5 million is now in place to deliver two key phases of the scheme.

The Coronavirus pandemic has severely affected our ability to move the Littlehampton Town Centre Public Realm Project Improvements forward.

Key dates

2021

2020

  • November – second tendering exercise undertaken
  • October – Initial scope of project reduced
  • September – first procurement tender exercise reveals funding shortfall
  • March – first Coronavirus Lockdown
  • Faithful+Gould appointed to project manage the technical team

2019

  • Stage 2 CCF bid submitted (Feb) for town centre improvements Phases 1 and 2 (£2.49 million)
  • funding bid to Local Growth Fund (July) for Phase 3 (£1.4 million).
  • award 41% of request (£564,000)
  • LTC and ADC both approve (Dec) contribution of £200,000 to enable Phase 3 to go ahead

2017

  • initial funding bid to Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) for all 5 phases was unsuccessful.

2016

  • Town Centre Public Realm designs created by LDA and three week public consultation with public, traders and councillors involved.
  • good support in survey results for improvements.
  • Arun applied to the Coastal Communities Fund and was invited to submit a second stage application

2015

  • council agreed town centre public realm as priority project from 9 Big Ideas for Littlehampton
  • awarded grant for design fees.
  • Riverside walkway (£2 million) completed
  • LDA Design appointed to work up designs for town centre

2014

2004

  • Littlehampton 2020 Vision Masterplan
  • high quality public realm improvements to feature throughout vision and focus on improving