PROTESTS have greeted a major scheme in North Bersted with a new Aldi store.
Councillors fear traffic generated by the Saltbox development off Rowan Way would cause gridlock in the area.
Bersted Parish Council’s planning committee chairman, Cllr Gill Yeates, said: “Local residents are very upset and can’t see how the developers have come up with some of their traffic figures.
“I don’t know how they can say the old plans for a hotel and gym would generate the same amount of traffic as an Aldi.
“People visit a hotel for quite a time, while the Aldi will have X number of tills and whizz people through as fast as they can.
“This particular scheme is not going to be good for anyone. We were told by the developers there would be 509 jobs when it was fully built out. It is a large piece of land for that.
“We were talking about 1,000 jobs there initially. So, that has been downgraded and not well-paid jobs as well.”
In its formal response, the parish council has told Arun District Council, which will decide the planning application by Landlink Estates, it objected to the scheme.
“The application does not provide any mitigation measures to ease the traffic on the A259 Rowan Way and A29 Shripney Road.
“It does not appear to consider the cumulative effect of traffic on these roads from planning permission granted for Lidl on the Oldlands Farm site opposite.
“The traffic survey is based on August, 2017, weekday figures obtained from West Sussex County Council,” said the parish council.
Bognor Regis Town Council has also protested about the proposal.
Its planning and licensing committee members stated: “Although the town council support the growth and the development of the Salt Box Field, it is with reluctance the members object to this application on the grounds that the road plan has been ill thought out, with no mitigation measures to ease current or future congestion.
“At present, any disruption on the A259 in surrounding areas such as Chichester and Littlehampton, coming in to Bognor Regis, has a knock-on effect that this development would only exacerbate.
“Bognor Regis Town Council feels that the impact (of the development) will be so great that it warrants proper detailed scrutiny with a robust, objective and honest approach as to how it will affect residents and visitors to the town.
“Members would like to be confident that, in allowing further retail and employment, whilst being of benefit, does not create a gridlocked area on the northern route out of town, nor upon those entering Bognor Regis via the A29.”
As well as the Aldi store, the proposed scheme will comprise a distribution depot for Warburtons the bakers, a showroom for Richmond Motor Group, two drive-thru units and two industrial units.
As reported, Landlink Estates hopes to receive planning permission for its 12-hectare scheme this spring to enable work to start in the summer.
The first aspect of the business park to be built will be the depot for Warburtons.
The company wants to be using it this time next year. Landlink Estates expects the unallocated units on the site to be filled because of the level of demand for business spaces.