To get a feel for the depth of feeling about the Waitrose, Storrington, proposal I wanted to write and give you a young person’s perspective. I am 17 years old, have always lived in Storrington and attend a local school.
Storrington is a village which nestles at the foot of the South Downs and other than the traffic and pollution it has retained its village character and much of its original charm. To protect this and to exploit the tourism potential of the village following the National Park designation, the scale and nature of any new development is critical. To me this is common sense.
To place a large food retail superstore in the heart of the village is just plain bonkers and to claim, as Waitrose has, that the superstore will generate less traffic than existing village supermarket and the small local businesses it will displace is beyond belief.
Who on earth would believe such a claim? You only have to look at the Tesco car park in Pulborough to know how wrong this is. Would Waitrose spend millions of pounds expanding just to serve existing customers and may be a few others? No!
Waitrose is expensive and Storrington is not a wealthy village. It is not credible to suggest that if the store size is increased, residents will do their weekly shop there. I know of no local families who would do this.
Added to this, how much traffic and in particular vans and HGVs will result from the proposed first floor offices, which John Lewis claim will be some sort of satellite distribution centre.
The reality is that traffic will increase dramatically, as will HGVs, traffic congestion and pollution. The character and appearance of the conservation area and Storrington as a village will be destroyed. I am surprised the proposal does not include the renaming of the village ‘Waitrose’.
It remains to be seen just how much common sense HDC, WSCC and the parish council have.
Water Lane, Storrington