Council must back the people

Parish council chairman Anna Worthington-Leese says she and fellow councillors are ‘committed to working for the community’. One wonders what community that is.

Hundreds of residents of Storrington and Sullington have made plain their opposition to the proposed massive expansion of Waitrose. Many have signed petitions, written letters and attended parish meetings to voice their disquiet.

On Tuesday October 23 I was one of dozens of people who attended the parish meeting in the hope that our ‘representatives’ would listen to mounting concerns. Apart from the Waitrose property manager not a single person spoke in favour of the application.

Five local residents gave thoughtful, well presented arguments against the current proposals. These are not NIMBYISTS opposed to any development. It is the scale of the expansion that is at issue.

The massive footprint and double decker car-park are totally out of scale for Storrington and will inevitably ramp up the pollution and congestion levels that already plague the village.

You might have thought that councillors would have the courtesy to listen respectfully to the reasons why local people are so concerned.

Instead the contempt for the people in the hall was breath-taking in its arrogance. Anybody who doesn’t agree with the parish council is dismissed as a ‘vociferous’ minority.

I am not a member of the ‘Save our Storrington’ group but having witnessed the particular ire directed against them can only conclude they have the council rattled. Perhaps it is because despite the council’s claims to represent the ‘silent majority’ it secretly knows it is out of touch with the views of the community it purports to represent.

Come on councillors – stop hiding behind the claim that you have to do as you’re told by ‘the professionals’. Do what you’re meant to do - get behind the people you represent and hold Waitrose to account.

Resist the scale of the development and make sure that any development improves rather than swamps the village.


Water Lane, Storrington