I have just sat through a discussion at the Arun District Council cabinet about its ‘Growth Deal’. The section on Littlehampton starts off ‘the priority is the development and regeneration of Littlehampton Town Centre’. The words are welcome.
I also read the minutes of the Arun District Council planning committee held a couple of weeks ago. A 3,500 square metre retail unit was permitted on land at the Rustington Golf Centre. Councillors also permitted an outline application for a new Marks & Spencer food store along the A259 between the Windmill and Body Shop roundabouts. This even though councillors were advised this was against planning policies as there is a suitable town centre location available in Littlehampton. This is the old Waitrose store with its own car park.
These sites along the A259 are car-orientated with most unserved by public transport and a few only served by a bus between 10am and 2pm Monday to Friday.
Of course Littlehampton is going to have to adapt by moving forward with more food, drink and leisure and no doubt more flats in the town. However, is there a link between the appearance of all these retail outlets out of town along the A259 and the fact that we now struggle to buy mens clothes and shoes in Littlehampton, for example? I think so. It has not been by accident and as far as the Arun Growth Deal is concerned I would suggest actions speak louder than words.
Finally if this is the way things are going to be then there must be a requirement for these new stores to put on transport for those who are unable to drive to them.
Councillor Derrick Chester
Littlehampton Town Council, The Manor House
Church Street, Littlehampton
• Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Herald or Littlehampton Gazette by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Herald or Littlehampton Gazette simply click here.