The transformation of the Hothamton car park into an aspirational new leisure park moved a step closer to reality this week.
Councillors at Bognor Regis Regeneration Sub Committee voted overwhelmingly to recommend to Full Council plans to develop detailed designs, and invest its own money to deliver the park which will provide a green corridor between town and seafront.
In contrast to the many traditional parks in the area, plans for the contemporary new park include high-quality play and leisure features for all the family.
For youngsters, the attractions include water play with fountains, alongside a trim trail for adults seeking to get fit and lots of seating for those who have time to sit and enjoy their surroundings.
There is also flexible space for performance as well as a square for markets and events, and a catering “pavilion” with outdoor seating. A seasonal pop-up business space may be accommodated at the south end.
The whole site will be attractively lit in order that the space can be enjoyed after dusk and the new car parking is laid out with some wider width spaces and includes Blue Badge spaces and electric car charging points. Planting built into the park setting will obscure the site of the parked cars.
Councillor Phil Hitchins, Chairman of Bognor Regis Regeneration Sub Committee, said: “This attractive new park will transform the current car park and the site will be unrecognisable once the transformation is complete.
“It will be packed with varied and interesting play and leisure facilities. We have been asked by the public for a water play facility for many years, and here it is!”
The proposal to market the western part of the car park site to developers for residential use once the park has been built was also supported. The health authority has yet to decide whether or not the existing GP facility which is currently on this site will be relocated, however the site can be marketed to developers with or without the GP surgery site.
Councillor Mrs Gillian Brown, Cabinet Member for Economy and Policy and Leader of Arun District Council, said “I’m delighted that we now have firm plans to deliver this first phase of the ambitious, but achievable, Gardens by the Sea project.
“By delivering the park ourselves, we can ensure that the finished result meets the high-quality specification we are seeking. We look forward to being able to market the residential parts of the site and ultimately deliver essential new homes - with some of the best views in town!”