THE HEART will get ripped out of Selsey if an out-of-town supermarket is built, businesses claim.
The 20,000sqft Asda store could be built as part of proposals to build 159 homes, a hotel, restaurant and a petrol station by Landlink Estates at Park Farm, on the outskirts of the town.
Noel Kavanagh, who runs the family-operated Selsey branch of the Budgens franchise, said: “We’re certainly not anti-Asda or anti any supermarket coming to Selsey.
“But if it’s going to come, we want it to come to Selsey town centre.”
Traders in the town feel if the supermarket came into Selsey itself then it would provide a boost for town-centre businesses.
“It doesn’t bring any footfall into the town,” said Michelle Berry, of The Village Bakery, about the current plan.
Meanwhile, according to Janet Pledger of The Selsey Florist: “It’s an unfair advantage and lack of competition.”
According to Mr Kavanagh, the applicant had to complete a ‘sequential test’ as part of the application, which meant looking at potential sites all over the town justifying its choice of the out-of-town site.
However, he questioned whether this was done as well as it could have been.
“We welcome the company and certainly one in the middle of the town would be good for the town,” he said.
“The way they’ve gone about it is almost quite cynical in that they’ve almost identified a site and not paid much attention at all to the sequential test.”
Resident Donna Johnson and said many people chose to make their home in Selsey because of its community spirit and thriving centre.
“We’re actually ripping the heart out of the community which is extremely important for those of us who choose to make our homes here,” she said.
The group feels an out-of-town store will draw people away from the town centre and leave businesses in dire straits as people abandon the independent shops to do all their shopping at the supermarket giant.
The group listed three greengrocers, two bakeries, three butchers and two florists among those in the town who could be affected.