Letter: Quality brand

I, TOO, went to the recent parish council meeting in Sullington Parish Hall where the Waitrose expansion plan was discussed and various representations were made by local residents and a representative of Waitrose.

I am mystified about exactly what local population the protesters are referring to. Storrington has been described as a ‘small’ village with a population of 5,000, both in the press and at the parish council meeting.

I have just checked on the Storrington and Sullington Parish Council Website (which, incidentally only appears to give information about ‘Storrington’ council) to discover that the population is quoted as 7,000. Where have the other 2,000 suddenly come from?

I presume these are Sullington residents. As a Sullington resident I resent being overlooked, we live only about a mile from the Storrington centre and, as I understand it, most of the delivery lorries for Waitrose will come past our home along what has been described as a ‘country lane’ (it hasn’t been a country lane for some years) so we Sullington residents will be affected as well, are we not allowed to be included in the affected population?

We already get HGVs going past our home on a regular basis on their way to and from the industrial estate just off the north end of Water Lane, so we probably won’t notice a few more even though we do need a footpath and have done so for 30 odd years.

Also, it appears that residents of Thakeham, West Chiltington and possibly Cootham have not been considered either although they are also included in the Storrington Village Directory (I wondered how long it would take Storrington to start to encompass Sullington and deny its separate existence, at least West Chiltington and Thakeham still have their own parish councils).

Some years ago when there were discussions about plans to build a new swimming pool one of the arguments used by residents and the local council for having it sited in Storrington was that there was a catchment population of 28,000 available – where have they all gone suddenly?

And I don’t remember any concern about increased traffic then - if that estimate is still correct it is no wonder that Waitrose wishes to build a larger store in our vicinity although I do accept that the residents of both Pulborough and Steyning will probably still not shop in Storrington.

I agree with the argument that in these days of rising fuel costs it will probably be cheaper to shop at Waitrose in Storrington than travel even to Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s in Pulborough (neither of which have enough choice for me).

I also agree that the present problems of traffic levels and air quality issues have been around for some time and need to be seriously addressed anyway. Waitrose is not to blame for either issue.

One final point, have any of the protesters given any thought to what might happen if Waitrose does not get permission to expand? It could decide to pull out altogether and we could have a less scrupulous supermarket chain move in or we could be left with no supermarket at all and an empty building with all the problems that might cause.

I like having a quality supermarket near enough to be a convenient place for grocery shopping and Waitrose more than fits the bill.

I have looked favourably on its brand of service and quality ever since I was introduced to it over 40 years ago in Hampshire.

SUSAN NICEL

Water Lane, Sullington