Retail casualties are inevitable

Further to my missive (overly long, say some) in last week’s County Times regarding the former Silver Wok site in Brighton Road, Horsham, I have, as a potential neighbour of the new Tesco convenience store, received a circular letter.

In brief, the letter from Tesco states that planning permission will only be required for minor alterations and not for change of use.

It also claims that it will offer the best convenience foods including fresh produce, be a good neighbour, consider taking part in community activities and charity fund raising and will open this summer.

Interestingly though the letter reassures us that a large percentage of their customers will come from within 500 metres on foot or by cycle and it will create approximately 20 full and part time jobs for local people.

‘Customers within 500 metres’, yes that is interesting and perhaps more than a tad optimistic since that area encompasses quite a bit of open land for instance, Bennetts Field and allotments, Chesworth allotments, part of the Forest School playing fields, the old Heron Brook nursery and a large slice of Muggeridge Field.

The roads that the area does encompass, about 25, to some extent, are mainly low/medium density housing of which the majority are almost nearer to the town centre.

So where are the customers coming from that will create sufficient business to occupy all these new jobs? How will they get there?

I return to my letter last week because this simply reinforces my view that the proposed store will take a great deal of trade away from existing local stores and the town in order to be viable.

There will inevitably be casualties to existing businesses and the town.

It will create additional traffic hazards at an already busy and dangerous junction. Do we really need it?


St Leonards Road, Horsham