LETTER: Problem is so serious

SOME of your correspondents who favour Waitrose’s application to expand its current store so drastically (County Times, December 15) seem prepared to skirt around the issue of extra traffic that this development would bring into Storrington.

Unfortunately, this problem is so serious that it really must take first place in the queue.

The county council’s figures show that Storrington’s traffic levels rose by 11 per cent in the years 2006 to 2010; yet over the same period the total county traffic through the other (urban) Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) went down by seven per cent.

We are the only rural AQMA in West Sussex.

This is no ordinary problem. That is why so many villagers – over 850 and rising – have signed the petition, available both online and on paper, that calls on the county council to carry out a comprehensive traffic management study throughout Storrington and to consider very carefully its response to any planning application that might make matters worse.

The parish council has shown that it fully understands the importance of this issue.

It has listed traffic and air quality concerns among its reasons for objecting strongly to several applications.

Of course, Waitrose didn’t invent this problem but as a company which makes much of its community values it should have the sensitivity not to seek to impose this huge development on a village whose infrastructure is evidently not up to it.

By the way, your correspondent who described the auto repairs business in the village centre as ‘redundant’ is way short of the mark. It is very much a going concern. I am just one of its many very satisfied customers.

PHILIP TAPSFIELD

Water Lane, Storrington