A MIXTURE of delight and alarm met plans to build a new supermarket on the entrance to Selsey.
At an exhibition last week, opinions were split as the plans for a mix of houses and amenities were unveiled for the Park Farm site, but the hot topic was Asda.
One resident, Ray Simmonds, 83, from St Wilfrid’s Close, was delighted at the news Asda was coming to Selsey.
He said: “I am very pleased with it. I like the fact Asda might be coming, they are a good cheap supermarket.
“I hope I can see it happen.”
But other residents were less impressed with the news, and worried about the impact the store would have on the high street.
Val Whiting from East Beach said: “I really don’t think Selsey needs it. We have got so many local shops, they are just going to close.
“How many villages do you find have three butchers, two bakers, three florists.”
She was also concerned the supermarket would bring more shoppers from the area to the B2145, which already suffers from congestion problems.
“I think it will bring more traffic into the village as people will come to shop at Asda,” she said.
Andy Short, who runs The Selsey Off-License said: “I think it’s appalling. This big supermarket will destroy the high street. I think it will affect all the businesses. It is going to have an impact.”
But Sue Kemp from East Beach said although she opposed the number of houses, she though the petrol station and supermarket were ‘brilliant’.
Developer Michael Fletcher of Landlink Estates said: “The store will be an ASDA, this is because 60 per cent of the online shopping from Selsey is done in ASDA, despite there being no local store.
“ASDA will also run the filling station and provide a better range than all of the existing supermarket retailers.”
He said the supermarket would be 20,000 square feet and would benefit the town as it would keep shoppers in Selsey. “As a car driver from Sidlesham I did not know that Tesco and Sainsbury’s run free bus services taking shopping trade out of Selsey.
Those Chichester stores also target Selsey for internet deliveries.
The new store would be able to make inroads into the traffic all of that activity creates.
“We will cut down traffic on the B2145 and that will have a massive knock-on benefit to the other shops in the town. There is a clear retail-lead regeneration case here.”
An Asda spokesman confirmed the store had plans to open a store in the town, and said: “We are working with developers Landlink to bring forward a new Asda store in Selsey.
“If granted planning permission the new store will include a range of Asda products including our fresh food and popular George clothing range.”
HUNDREDS of residents turned up to the exhibition to air their views on the new plans for Park Farm.
“There are people who don’t like it, some who do like it, those who like some of it,” said Mr Fletcher.
“We’ve just given people what they said they wanted at the appeal.”
Peter and Sue Kemp live on the Pye Homes estate, and although they liked some aspects of the plan, they thought there was too much social housing.
“I think Chichester District Council should put more social housing in Chichester,” said Peter.
However, Sue said: “The petrol station and supermarket is brilliant, we need something down here. “
Maurice and Gillian Tilly have a caravan at West Sands in Selsey.
“I think it’s a good scheme,” said Maurice. “I think it will be nice to have a major supermarket in town, as it’s nine miles to Chichester.
“A hotel can only be a good thing for tourism. Hotels in Chichester are quite hard to come by.”
But Andy Short, from The Selsey Off-License said: ““If people are coming down to the hotel, if there is no high street there, they’re not going to come down. People who stay at Bunn Leisure come down for the community feel of Selsey. If that is gone that will have an impact on that as well.”
Martin and Belinda Gannon from East Beach, has reservations about the plans.
“I just do not see how it is going to benefit Selsey,” said Belinda.
Martin said: “I am a bit confused about the hotel on the edge of a car park. It is not near anything. I am assuming it is a Travelodge to stop off one night. I would be interested to know who is going to be taking it on.”
He was also concerned about the amount of homes in the plan.
“It was 50 houses at the beginning and now it is more than double. How did that happen? “
However, Mr Fletcher of Landlink Estates said the firm had worked hard with residents to identify what they wanted to see in the town.
“This is a fantastic example of localism,” he said. “I think this is a really excellent scheme. People don’t want to see houses at the entrance to the town, they want to see a hotel.”
AFTER securing permission for 50 homes on part of the site at appeal, Landlink Estates have expanded the scheme.
The plans include the Asda foodstore and petrol station, a 40-bed hotel, a multi-use clinic, restaurant or pub and 159 homes.
In total, 40 per cent of the homes will be affordable.
Designs include 85 two, three and four bedroom homes, 44 terraced homes, 18 flats and 12 ‘live-work units.
Other plans include enlarging the roundabout at the junction of Manor Road and Chichester Road.
The plan has not yet been submitted to Chichester District Council.
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