Ridiculous site for new store

Having just returned from walking my dog at approximately 6pm on the Horsham fields adjacent to Kerves Lane and attempting to cross the extremely busy Brighton Road, it has made me realise what a ridiculous idea it would be to have a convenience store at the junction of Brighton Road and St Leonard’s Road. It appears that in this country we have rules, rules and more rules but does common sense prevail?

Having read various letters in the County Times over the past weeks regarding this matter it would appear that Tesco do not need to apply for change of use and it is a done deal. I can therefore assume that they have monitored the traffic flow at this junction and there is sufficient passing traffic for them to achieve an extremely generous return on their capital.

I presume that they are hoping to catch the commuter traffic to and from Cowfold, Henfield, Brighton, etc, as there will be insufficient custom from the local area.

Where are these cars going to park? Yes, there is a small car park off road but I would suggest that it will not be large enough for the volume of customers Tesco are hoping to generate. As far as I can see this leaves two options – to park in St Leonard’s Road or in the Brighton Road. St Leonard’s Road is already congested with parked cars belonging to the residents as very few of the houses have driveways or garages. This narrow residential road is also used by school buses taking children to and from Millais and Forest and the No 70 service bus.

I note from the County Times that Mrs Rebecca Atkinson is in favour of the Tesco store and that she considers traffic congestion will not be a problem. It would be interesting to ascertain how she has reached this conclusion because anyone who uses St Leonard’s Road on a regular basis knows how bad the congestion is, particularly at peak times.

Increase in traffic is not the main problem here, it is the parking. Outside the proposed store there is a bus stop used by school children and it is situated on a very busy junction. This was not a problem when the premises were used as a restaurant as the opening hours were limited and catered for a fairly small number of customers who stayed for a meal.

The very nature of a convenience store is customers are coming and going all the time. One has only to look at parking problems outside schools to realise that many of the general public do not par in a responsible manner.

Are we to think that this will be any different?

The site obviously requires development but it would make more sense as a residential site with flats and courtyard parking, similar to the development on the opposite corner of St Leonard’s Road.

S. PRIESTLEY

Dickins Way, Horsham