Work is scheduled to start on the development of 'five high-quality one bedroom flats' in Bognor Regis, the BID has revealed today (Tuesday).
According to the Bognor BID, the development is a 'positive sign of private investment' in the town centre and 'reflects the changing face of UK high streets as desirable locations to live'.
However, during the building work, which is expected to last for approximately six months, the covered passageway that connects London Road and Sudley Road will be sectioned off to 'prevent risk of harm to those walking through'.
Developer Matthew Reynolds acknowledged the inconvenience this may cause to businesses and pedestrians who have 'become used to accessing the town through this route'.
He said: “The closure was necessary for health and safety reasons. The passageway is privately owned land, with access restricted to tenants and owners of the adjacent properties.
"We’ve worked very closely with these owners to ensure their agreement to the short-term plans, and to make sure nobody is put at risk whilst the work is carried out.”
The installation of scaffolding and site safety measures will begin on Monday, May 20.
The BID spokesman added: "Whilst fully supporting the development of the private land, both Bognor Regis Town Council and the Bognor Regis Business Improvement District recognised that members of the business and wider community may be inconvenienced by its closure.
"Both organisations will do whatever they can to keep members of the public and businesses fully informed as the development progresses."
The BID had been working with the three private landowners involved in the London Road passageway for more than three months, according to chairman Paul Wells.
He added: "The BID’s involvement is part of its ‘Welcoming Town’ objective, looking at ways to reduce the anti-social and criminal behaviour taking place in that area.
"The passageway is also used as an easy ’escape route’ for shoplifters stealing from Bognor Regis businesses.
"The BID will continue to work with the landowners to find an effective long term solution whilst the development works are carried out and temporary site safety measures are in place.”
According to the BID spokesman, the London Road Passageway has been used as a site for rough sleeping for several months.
ADC’s Community Manager, Georgina Bouette, said: “The individual sleeping in the passageway would have to relocate to avoid any potential threat to their safety and well-being.
"Support for this person will continue, and every effort is being made to encourage them to accept the support offered by a range of agencies.”