I NOTE with interest your headline of April 12, ‘£45m store to spark jobs boom’.
I wonder whether this is the good news it appears to be?
Yes, it will eventually bring new jobs to the area. Yes, it will rejuvenate a semi-derelict site.
Yes, it will increase local shopping opportunities.
But will the positives be offset by negative effects on other areas of the city?
Will the visitors to the new outlets venture into the city centre, and pay to park?
We already have a number of large outlets spaced around the immediate city centre.
Do we really need more?
I believe of greater importance is the potential effect on central businesses.
There are examples around the country, some not too far away, where out-of-town developments are sucking the lifeblood from traditional shopping areas.
Landscaped parkland areas, cafes and public squares sound wonderful but if they risk the viability of city-centre shopping, their development should be approached with great caution.
I love shopping in Chichester. It is a pleasant and relaxing experience.
We may be damaging permanently that ambience if too much out-of-town retail development is permitted.