A large new ‘discount’ supermarket will be coming to Chichester after planning permission was approved.
An unnamed supermarket chain has expressed interest in the former fuel depot site to the east of the city, on the A259 close to the A27 Bognor roundabout.
Although the name of the supermarket is not yet known, it was confirmed it will be a ‘discount’ chain such as Lidl or Aldi and will be substantial in size, at 2,431 metres squared.
Outline planning permission was also granted for two roadside catering units and three trade units on the brownfield land, which developers say will create more than 200 jobs.
Agent for the developer, Paul Fong, said that the retail unit was necessary to cover the high costs of decontamination and roadworks.
“There is interest in that particular site so it (the retail unit) will be delivered,” he told a Chichester District planning meeting on Wednesday, March 30.
“Highways has been complicated, it has been the most difficult part of this application, but we have reached a solution.”
Concerns were voiced by many councillors over traffic signals and the wider impact of the complex on the already congested Bognor Road roundabout.
A quick-changing set of traffic lights is planned to replace those at Oving, to regulate the out-flow of traffic onto the A259, with no right turn into the new site.
A Highways officer’s report stated that the overall impact on traffic will be ‘less than severe’, with eastbound queues not reaching the roundabout itself.
The developer will pay a contribution towards road construction and maintenance in area.
A consultation by GVA concluded that the development will have a ‘minimal impact’ on city centre trade of ‘six per cent’.
But Cllr Richard Plowman questioned what the figure would mean in real terms.
He said: “If we are saying six per cent of sales, that is very different to six shops closing in the centre of Chichester.” He asked for reassurance that the three business units would go ahead if the store was allowed.
Head of planning services, Andrew Frost, said that six per cent was an ‘acceptable’ figure alongside the Barnfield Drive development.
Planners voted to approve full permission for the supermarket, and outline for the rest of the site, with 11 in favour and two against.
Cllr Myles Cullen said: “I am delighted to see we are moving forward on this site, which has been an eyesore for so long.”
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