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Bognor Town Hall Threatened with Demolition

Written 09/08/02

Developers have plans to demolish Bognor Regis Town Hall. The proposed redevelopment would see a number of flats spring up on the site. The plan is one mooted by Arun District Council in an effort to regenerate Bognor Regis.

The Hothampton car park site (including the Bognor health centre) is to be included in the development brief. Both areas are owned by Arun and are being packaged as one in an effort to make the package more attractive for developers.

Previous attempts to dispose of the town hall some eighteen years ago met with fierce local opposition and Arun eventually backed down. Former town Mayor, Sylvia Olliver said any attempt to demolish the town hall would be bitterly opposed.

"The town hall means a lot to the people of the town. It's been the hub and centre of the town. It may not be the physical centre but it is the centrepiece of the town in people's hearts."

"It was built in 1929, the same year as Bognor became Bognor Regis and its building made Bognor feel proud of itself. Before that, the council had met in houses and various other places."

"The town hall is a lovely building. It still helps to give the town its identity, even if the work is carried out at Arun's edifice in Littlehampton."

"There should always be a place for the Town Hall in Bognor. It should be listed - not demolished," said Mrs Olliver.

Paul Collins, the head of the council's planning services, says in a report to the Council: "It is recommended the council defines the site to be explored as including the health centre and the site of Bognor Regis Town Hall, excluding the site of the war memorial, and does not rule out, from the outset, the consideration of proposals which require demolition."

"In these cirumstances, demolition will be subject to the agreement of all existing owners, leaseholders and licence holders".

Hall

Bognor Regis Town Hall