It’s good to see so many people now voicing their support for the proposed Waitrose development. It’s in our nature, if we are happy with a proposal, not to go around waving banners, raising petitions and contacting the local press just to re-affirm our support.
We simply carry on with our lives and look forward to benefiting from the realisation of that proposal. On the other hand, small groups of protesters will try and monopolise press coverage and write letters hugely exaggerating their perceived negative impact of that proposal, and so you have ‘Save Our Storrington’. In your letters column on November 1, Linda Giles claims that ‘the majority of local people… are against the proposed Waitrose store’, Amanda Aviss then states that ‘hundreds of residents of Storrington and Sullington have made plain their opposition…’
Please help me here, where are these people getting their numbers from? In a village of approximately 5,000 people, hundreds are hardly a majority!
K.Collins then goes on to criticise the use of part of the store for e-commerce! Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but isn’t e-commerce
now a valuable part of our lives as consumers and an essential part of modern business? Personally, I’m rather partial to a bit of clicking and collecting.
Then, on November 8, we have the Rev Stephen Turrell claiming ‘the slaughter of Storrington’ and that ‘you cannot heal the torn-out heart of a community’, these fire and brimstone phrases are obviously trying to portray some sort of Armageddon.
On November 15, we have the omniscient Jenny Powell who wishes to attract the former Somerfield shoppers back to Storrington by reducing the size of the store, suggesting this ‘may even pay off at the tills’. Well as far as I can see, most of the people who shopped in Somerfield are now shopping in Waitrose and, more importantly, there are lots of people shopping in Waitrose that never shopped in Somerfield (if someone from Waitrose is reading this, maybe they could confirm that the store is busier? It certainly seems that way).
And for those ‘less affluent’ (as Ms Powell patronisingly describes some of our community), I see a lot of price matching and ‘essential’ ranges in the current store, no doubt a bigger store would be offering better prices.
It seems to me that there are a small group of people out there who will simply not embrace change, who may be frightened of the unknown or who just don’t understand what benefits the Waitrose development will bring.
We will have more people bringing money into the village, anyone who understands the importance of footfall will realise that this will benefit other traders in the village.
Waitrose will provide more employment, benefiting the job outlook in the village. Mill Square will be brought out of the doldrums, it is tired, outdated and an eyesore.
There may well be some people who will suffer a negative impact but, after all, ‘The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few’ (Mr Spock, Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan).
Chantry Lane, Storrington