Home > Main blog > Airfield Park, Bognor Regis and the A29

Airfield Park, Bognor Regis and the A29


The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership has awarded £6 million of funding in support of a project at Airfield Park Bognor Regis (the old LEC Airfield) – a project with a total cost of £83 million.

Limited details can be seen here Coast to Capital LEP £6 million award to Arun

Both Coast to Capital and Arun District Council have, so far, declined to disclose full details of the council’s bid for this funding. Why hasn’t the council published its bid document?

Members of the public in Eastergate/Westergate/Barnham will want to know if the council gave any assurances relating to the A29 in order to win this funding?

Why is this important?

In its draft Local Plan the council expresses a “preference” for a relatively low house building target of 400 houses p.a. at Eastergate/Westergate/Barnham (which would mean only 150 houses).  It would be impossible to fund “improvements” to the A29 from only 150 houses.

If the council’s preference is genuine, and not an attempt to deceive the public, then how will it fund improvements to the A29?

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  1. July 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I hope the employees in Airfield Park can swim!!!

    The land at Oldlands Farm north east of Bognor Regis was originally designated for employment in the 2003 Local Plan. So far, not a single employer has turned up.

    Asda offered to kick-start an employment park here and were refused planning permission by Arun District Council. The employment provision in the 2003 Local Plan can only be seen as a spectacular failure!

    Modern employers expect to be located adjacent to the Strategic Road Network (in our case the A27). Is that why Arun’s 2003 Local Plan has failed so spectacularly to attract employment interest for the Oldlands Farm site? Did Respironics move from Bersted to Tangmere to be close to the A27? Oldlands Farm was available but they chose Tangmere.

    The role of a council should be to identify what it would take to attract potential employers and then to do all it can to create those circumstances. That includes identifying and working with willing landowners.

    No council can make employers settle in a location that is unattractive to them.

    If it’s a choice between a business park adjacent to the A27 (Tangmere or possibly Ford, for instance) or a business park some very heavily congested miles from the A27 – which will they choose?

  2. John Penfold
    July 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I suppose Sainsbury’s/Sime-Darby are not interested in the old LEC Airfield which is the other side of the railway with only a pedestrian operated (dangerous) vehicle crossing (there was a death there in LEC’s time.)
    So therefore Arun think they can turn this into another industrial/commercial park to add to the far more suitable Oldlands Farm site. Have they given up on the latter after losing the ASDA interest? Is it available from the landowner?

    My recollection of the LEC Airfield as a personal friend of the Purleys was that a good deal of the time it was too flooded to allow flying,it is a flood plain for the Rifes to the North.
    How will Arun deal with this ? Certainly not by building huge new developments and new roads to the North of the site,taking away farmland which acts as a filter and sponge for the excess rainfall we are now experiencing.
    Has Climate change been taken into account? I doubt it,ADC will be persuaded by the developers’ lawyers and “experts” that draining ponds are the answer,but all the water has to get out to sea as it has done for 1000’s of years and the result will be more flooding misery for Bersted and Felpham residents and probably an increase in their home insurance.

    The drainage of the catchment area of the Barnham,Eastergate and Aldingbourne Rifes will be THE major stumbling block for ADC in getting their new Local Plan accepted, but not the ONLY one.
    The £6m Coast to Capital funding is probably for the new Felpham link road and additional infrastructure to make the site suitable for industrial development.
    Who will take their business there?
    Any other views out there ?
    John Penfold

  3. June 27, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Interesting reading

  4. June 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    At Full Council on 20th June 2012 the following question was put to the leader:

    “I am aware that a Growing Places allocation of £6 million has been awarded by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership in support of a project at Airfield Park Bognor Regis – a project with a total cost of £83 million. Coast to Capital and Arun District Council have so far declined to disclose details of the council’s bid for this funding, to the public they both exist to serve.

    Why hasn’t the council published its bid document?

    Did the council pledge to “upgrade” the A29 to win this funding?

    In its draft Local Plan the council expresses a preference for a relatively low house building target of 400 houses p.a. (which would mean only 215 houses at Eastergate/Westergate/Barnham). If the council’s preference is genuine, and not an attempt to deceive the public, how will it fund improvements to the A29?”

    This is how the leader’s reply is minuted:

    “The Leader of the Council responded by stating that the documents submitted to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, were documents submitted on behalf of the partnership group and contained commercially sensitive information provided by the developers and so at this stage of the bidding process, there was only limited information publically available.

    The draft Local Plan contained two potential options for housing building of 400 units per annum and 565 units per annum. The Leader of the Council stated that on page 108, an upgrading of the A29 was advocated as part of the growth in the Eastergate/Westergate/Barnham area which was to be funded by the proposed development and was not subject to any bid for external funding”.

    To me this is still unclear. How do other people read this? Does the leader mean the partnership submitted documents to itself? Is there another partnership? A Local Enterprise Partnership doesn’t just award £6 million without some form of bid – so who made the bid, what was Arun’s part in it, and, what did it say about the A29?

    Can anyone shed some light?

  5. June 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Arun should wait until the new road is finished and in use, before thinking about any other “Bright” ideas regarding the A29. This new road could well relieve the pressure on the A29. Level crossings are part of living in the countryside, if you cannot stand them then you shouldn’t be living here. They are our history and should be kept, don’t spoil the countryside with concrete flyovers, especially at Woodgate where flooding occurs and we are on a floating sand bed. It would seem Arun have a thing about doing away with all level crossings, or should I say when not in their back yard they want to erect these concrete monsters.

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