The problem was, after some seven years we still didn’t know exactly what they were.
The broad elements were evident from the Masterplan produced for Arun by Consultants
BDP in 2003, and a revised 2004 version can be seen by clicking here. And for example,note
particularly that on page 11 they say that the Regis Centre site could contain, among
many other things, “optional residential development.” Optional, you’ll note, not
Then, in May 2006, Arun held a public exhibition at which the three competing developers
showed their concepts as to how the Regis Centre and Hothamton sites might be developed.
We were repeatedly told that these were only concepts, nothing was set in stone
(was that a joke?) and that all we were doing was selecting a developer. St Modwen
was ultimately selected, and their concept had shown the Regis Centre site to contain
168 flats in a nine storey building. Have a look at their proposals by clicking here.
Lots of pretty pictures, but read it all very carefully.
You will note that the 168 flats and the nine storeys are not at all obvious and
you have to look very carefully to find them. Still more so at the exhibition, it
wasn’t on the plans and you had to ask the person manning the stand to find out.
Most of the public didn’t notice. We noticed, and queried this massive building
and all those flats. “Don’t worry,” we were told, “these are only concepts, the
eventual scheme could be completely different. There’ll be lots more consultation
SO, WHAT DID THEY CHANGE?
Quite a lot, but what wasn’t changed? The 168 flats in the nine storey building
on the Regis Centre site. Arun said they were a “given” in spite of all the other
changes. We had moved on a lot, it seems, from the “optional residential development”
in their Masterplan. And they now claimed that everybody agreed to these when selecting
St Modwen at the original exhibition, in spite of all their assurances - and the
fact that they weren’t made obvious anyway. So it would appear that this is “compulsory
residential development” after all.
And the ”lots more consultation?” Just one exhibition, in January2008, showing “concepts
only” we were told - again. Have a look at it, click here and, among the pretty
pictures, note the changes - for example, the theatre ‘blob’ on the seafront has
disappeared to - where? - and it’s become a ‘live performance venue’ which is not
quite the same. Plus, the hotel is no longer in evidence, they plan to close the
Esplanade, there’s something, er, unusual on the Place St. Maur that might be a restaurant,
we seem to have lost certain bits of entertainment, and the Hothamton site is completely
different, with - wait for it - a 32 storey residential tower on the sunken garden.
Other changes too, but no change to the 168 flats...
AND NO FURTHER CONSULTATION SINCE THEN – UNTIL NOVEMBER 2013, THAT IS...
So what exactly is Arun District Council/St. Modwen proposing? - Apart from the 168
flats of course... Well, to continue the chronology, the infamous Credit Crunch intervened,
the Library came under threat and we were blessed with one or two snippets of information.
And we developed our ideas too – and then in 2013 things began to wake up. To find
out more, click on current position.
The 32 storey tower on the sunken garden- one of St. Modwen’s suggested designs,
pictured right. Compare the height, and other dimensions, with the existing Fitzleet
tower block in the illustration.