Homebase criticises plans for new Chichester supermarket

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THE Homebase store in Chichester has criticised its landlord for submitting plans to create extra car parking spaces for a possible future foodstore on the site.

Brookhouse Group Ltd was given permission last year by Chichester District Council to vary conditions at the Homebase store to allow the sale of food. It was also allowed to alter the car park to create 326 spaces.

It has now submitted plans for a further 84 spaces, which would bring the total to 410.

In addition, Brookhouse has another application to create a new service access point from Westhampnett Road

Last year Brookhouse said its application for the food store was ‘speculative’, with no food retailer yet committed. It said the latest proposal was to ‘resolve current unsatisfactory parking numbers in relation to the future use of the store’.

Responding to plans for the extra spaces, estate manager for Home Retail Group Guy Allan said the landlord had ‘little or no regard for their tenants’ operations’.

It objected to the plans because the existing store was receiving adverse comments and reactions as a result of Brookhouse’s various proposals.

Writing to Chichester District Council, Mr Allan said: “There have been a number of planning applications made in the last year relating to this property, the result of which are causing adverse reactions from customers and our staff, including the cancellation of customer orders.”

He said all applications relating to the building had been made without the support of Homebase Ltd.

The store had traded successfully and had been refitted. It had a lease until 2028 and intended to remain occupying the store until the end of the lease.

Chichester City Council is objecting to plans for the new access road. It said its siting, almost opposite the emergency access to Sainsbury’s, was inappropriate.

It said the already busy road was likely to become more congested with future traffic from the Graylingwell development. The site of the proposed access was also close to two existing roundabouts and the entrance to the crematorium.

i-Transport, working on behalf of Brookhouse Group Ltd, said the scheme had passed WSCC’s rigorous design check process and officers were satisfied with the location and design of the access point.