Controversial plans for a major Selsey development have been given the green light by Chichester District Council today (May 27).
Chichester District Council (CDC) planning committee has agreed plans for up to 139 homes, a hotel, pub or restaurant and a petrol station as well as a new Asda supermarket on the northern edge of the town on the Park Farm site.
This is a scheme I am very proud of being a part of because it’s going to do some real good for a lot of people – and in ways many people have not realised yet - and I like that bit the most
The proposal will now go before the Secretary of State, who has the power to call the decision in - meaning it will then go to a planning enquiry - or to simply give it the green light.
Councillors initially rejected the proposal at their planning meeting several weeks ago, on the grounds of its negative impact on the highways network in the peninsula and the effect on the local high street.
The plans consist of a 19,000 square foot supermarket as well as a four-pump petrol station, a dog walking track, ‘multi-use clinic’ and a number of affordable homes.
Michael Fletcher from the developer Landlink Estates said he was ‘delighted with the resolution’ and said construction could be underway within months.
“Chichester District Council resolved to grant following a referral to the Secretary of State,” he said following today’s meeting.
“Hopefully construction will already be underway in early 2016 with a view to opening the new store at the end of 2016/early 2017. ASDA will be recruiting through Selsey Works.
“I am delighted with the resolution, it was a sound decision. Everyone who gave their support should be congratulated and I am already aware of the positive reception the decision has received in Selsey.
“It’s a great opportunity for local business.
“The work of past and present members of Selsey Town Council Neighbourhood Planning group has gone to show that localism works.
“It’s a great chance for Selsey to change its outlook for the better.
“This is a scheme I am very proud of being a part of because it’s going to do some real good for a lot of people – and in ways many people have not realised yet - and I like that bit the most.”
The development has divided opinion across the town and the surrounding area, with some delighted at the prospect of an Asda and more affordable housing.
However others say the plans will lead to a ‘change in the trading landscape’ in Selsey and could lead to the death of independent trade in the town centre.
Asda first revealed its plans for a large store at the gateway to Selsey back in May 2014.
For more on the long-running saga click here Selsey Asda battle continues
Objecting to the plans was David Laight, regional operations manager at Kavanagh Retailing UK Ltd which operates Budgens, which has a store on Selsey High Street.
Speaking at today’s planning meeting, Mr Laight said Budgens was ‘not opposed to the Asda coming to town’, adding they would welcome development ‘as we know it would benefit the town’.
“But we are strongly opposed to the location,” he said. “The development would seriously damage the businesses in the town, including Budgens. Asda coming to town will impact Budgens business by at least 50 per cent.
“This would lead to job cuts and job losses. It would most likely lead to the closure of the store and the site left empty. The development would seriously impact on the town centre as businesses. It would impact on the tourist trade when the character of the town centre changes. Alternative sites have not been explored.”
Also opposed to the scheme was Selsey resident Julie Fullick, who said an Asda store would ‘fragment the community spirit’.
She added: “A large destination store will reduce consumer choice and dilute the individuality of the town.
“Despite the usual claims of improved employment opportunities, the national retail planning forum states that these stores do not usually have a positive effect on employment as trade merely diverts from the high street.
“No-one is denying we would like another decently priced store but not to the detriment to the high street which is at the heart of our town. We do not want to stifle the towns development but neither do we want to overwhelm it.”
Selsey Town Council, who backed the application, had previously accused Chichester District Council of ‘gross incompetence’ over the issue:
D-Day for Selsey Asda plans - D-day for Asda plans
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