THERE is general agreement that the Waitrose supermarket in Storington is doing a good job within its current footprint and is very much liked by its users, but that it could be a much better store for its service population if it were larger.
The argument is by how much.
There is also agreement that the Mill Square area is rundown and needs a major upgrade if it is to attract future customers.
By extension that means a major retailer as that is likely to be the only source of external funding.
My argument is that other retailers would be unlikely to offer as sensitive a development, witness their efforts elsewhere in the area.
So, let us stick with Waitrose and do the best we can.
The debate over closure, or not, of Mill Drive is essentially irrelevant as it is only being proposed as a possibility and then only if the civil authorities require it.
I am one of those with reservations about closure, but I can live with the current proposal, and I suggest objectors are using it as a smokescreen.
Where does that leave us?
Many of the objections are about building bulk, but fail to take into account the sloping site and the opportunities offered by that.
We do need better parking facilities, the present car park is frequently extremely congested, not just around Christmas, and cars get damaged by neighbours trying to enter narrow spaces, or to get shopping into vehicles – I speak from experience of this.
Others suggest that residents of Storrington could just as easily use existing large supermarkets in Pulborough or further afield.
Honestly? Get real.
I will be sorry if businesses using the square at present can’t be re-accommodated within the development. Many are treasures of their kind.
I would like to see a more positive approach to them.
I believe some of the facilities within the proposal could be scaled down, eg the café.
But I doubt the overall footprint would be much altered.
It is about scale and relevance to Storrington and the population within some five miles.
I support the proposal as I believe it represents a major step into the 21st century for the village and its surrounds.
We should count ourselves lucky, especially in the present economic climate.
Fryern Road, Storrington