Proposals to demolish a pub in Bognor Regis and replace it with up to ten flats have been approved - but there appears to be no immediate closure planned.
An outline planning application for the Richmond Arms in London Road was approved by Arun District Council’s development control committee on Wednesday (January 16).
The details of the scale and design of the new building would be subject to a separate reserved matters application to the council.
Before the meeting a post on The Richmond Arms’ Facebook page described how a new three-year contract had just been signed, thanking ‘new and old customers for all of your continued support and custom’.
Steve Goodheart, a Bognor Regis town councillor, described it a ‘shame’ the town was losing another 19th-century building and questioned if ten flats were too many for the site.
As some of the new buildings being built in Bognor are ‘not necessarily aesthetically pleasing’ he asked for the council to have some say over the style of the building so it fits in with the character of the area.
He said: “We believe this is overdevelopment of the area and we would like to get the council’s opinion on whether they would agree with a possible reduction to eight apartments.”
He suggested if approved the new development would have an impact on parking in the area and wondered if Richmond Road North could be made a one-way street.
Officers described how only up to ten units were being approved on the site and a final scheme may be for fewer.
Jim Brooks (Ind, Marine) said: “At three-and-a-half storeys I think it’s bound to end up bigger and I think that would be out of character with the other buildings in the street scene.”
He also described how the final design had to be something ‘very much in character’ with the surrounding area.
Barbara Oakley (Con, Middleton on Sea) asked: “In view of the importance of this particular application, it’s very much a building in the public eye, and because of its position is it not possible for these plans to come back to the committee rather than being dealt with by officers under the scheme of delegation?”
This was accepted as an amendment with councillors agreeing to ask for any reserved matters application for the site to be returned to the committee for a final decision.
The outline application was then approved unanimously.