LETTER: Planning policies don’t matter

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I read with interest your article last week: ‘Council joins forces with Tesco to promote Horsham town centre’ (WSCT June 12, p60) about deputy leader Cllr Helena Croft (Roffey North) unveiling a poster at the Tesco hypermarket, at Broadbridge Heath, in a doomed attempt to promote Horsham town’s own shops under attack from the supermarkets’ ever-increasing market share.

Mrs Croft, in the company of Tesco’s corporate managers, appeared to be starry-eyed in the photograph. Indeed Mrs Croft must like big supermarkets because she voted for the North Horsham plan (April 30), which includes another ‘out of town’ supermarket. Just what Horsham town needs! So why is she unveiling a poster encouraging us to shop in Horsham town centre when she’s voted to build another large supermarket, which will be at the Rusper roundabout (and in the Strategic Gap) just five weeks earlier?

This new supermarket will be the size of Sainsbury’s (Worthing Road) and it will be in breach of HDC’s ‘Town Centre First Policy’. It will also be in the Strategic Gap but of course when it comes to big business – such as Liberty and supermarkets – local planning policies clearly don’t matter.

Residents must write to HDC so that the council can pass on your comments direct to the Inspector who will consider this flawed plan at the public enquiry in November 2014.

Mrs Croft really should ‘sup with a long spoon’ when it comes to supermarket giants and trying to protect the independent traders in our historic market town and our green fields. No doubt the electorate will remind her of that at the ballot box in May 2015.

David Shipton

Downsview Road, Horsham