In your recent article, Waitrose has put in plans for new store, Waitrose branch manager Tom North said: ‘We want to create an attractive store at the heart of Storrington which enables us to provide a store and car park that can meet demand and therefore play a positive role in maintaining a healthy village centre. The changes address the key concerns raised about the design of our proposals, particularly by ensuring the elevation along Old Mill Drive is more in keeping with the existing environment.’
These revised plans, aimed at obtaining permission for this extensive development, to my mind show very little consideration or effort to change any part of the original scheme.
This still does not address:
The increased traffic and pollution to the village that a store of this size will produce.
The access of large lorries to the store via School Hill/ Fryern Road into Mill Lane and Old Mill Drive.
The probability that Waitrose customers will only flow from and to the car park, as the entrance to the existing Old Mill Square precinct will be closed off, hitting the trade of retailers in that area in addition to the main High Street.
Changing the School Hill entrance into the car park to one nearer to the High Street will only cause more congestion from cars queuing back from the Manleys Hill mini-roundabout.
The demolition as well as the construction of this site is going to produce numerous lorry movements lasting a year which will be directed down Water Lane and surrounding roads.
This is already a rat-run for public and commercial vehicles. The surface is breaking up now under the tonnage we are getting with larger trucks having to stop suddenly to negotiate passing each other.
This highlights again the fact that the logistics of constructing of a store of this magnitude in the centre of a village have not been thought through.
The benefits of village life greatly outweighs the limitations.
I chose this village to live in nearly 40 years ago because it was a village. I want it to stay that way.
Water Lane, Storrington