Waitrose plans set for parish council scrutiny

JPCT-16-08-11 SC11330318a Storrington, waitrose -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-16-08-11 SC11330318a Storrington, waitrose -photo by steve cobb

STORRINGTON Parish Council has changed its meeting procedures so that more people can air their views in relation to Waitrose’s expansion plans.

Chairman Ray Dawe has increased the number of representations from the public from seven to ten, five in favour, five against.

The length of time given to each speaker has also increased to three minutes.

Any spokesperson from a group will be given six minutes, however, this will reduce the number of speakers for and against to four.

The meeting is to be held on Thursday January 12 and will be attended by the full council to ensure all councillors’ can have their say.

Plans to enlarge the Waitrose store on Old Mill Square have been met with mixed reactions.

Some feel that the larger store will have a detrimental impact on the High Street.

Whereas, others feel a new state of the art store will bring more people to the village.

Peter Westrip, chairman of Save Our Storrington group, who are against the plans, has said the group will be speaking at the meeting.

He said: “Although the parish council doesn’t have the power to refuse this application, it does have the opportunity to object strongly to it for a number of compelling reasons.

“We hope councillors will show that they regard Waitrose’s plans as completely out-of-scale with, and potentially damaging to, our village environment.”

Waitrose have confirmed it will also have representatives at the meeting.

Development surveyor Mark Dawkins, and planning consultant Ian Anderson, will not be giving a formal presentation but will be able to answer any questions from parish council members.

Once the parish council has given its recommendation, it will be passed to Horsham District Council where planners will approve or refuse the plans.

Those wishing to speak should register with the clerk of the council either in person or by phone (01903746547) at least 48 hours before the meeting, stating whether they are for or against the application.

This will be on a first come, first served basis and answer phone messages and emails will not be valid.

The meeting will take place at the Parish Hall, Thakeham Road at 7pm.

The clerk has said that the public will be allowed in from 6.50pm.

The hall only has a capacity for 150 people once this is reached the doors will be closed and no one else will be allowed in.

To view the plans visit Horsham District Council website: http://public-access.horsham.gov.uk/public-access/ and enter reference DC/11/2334.