NEXT, one of the UK high street’s most successful retailers, could be heading into the area.
The fashion, furniture and homewares giant has expressed interest in one of the units in the new shopping and motor showroom development alongside the A259 on the Angmering/Rustington boundary.
“Although contracts have not been agreed, retailers such as Next are the type of retailer that the applicant has in mind, and have expressed interest.”Dalton Warner Davis, agents for Store Property
Marks & Spencer has already revealed proposals for a Simply Food store, there are plans for a family pub elsewhere on the site and BMW and Mini dealership Chandlers intends to move its showrooms and workshops from various locations around Angmering and Rustington to a single base within the new complex.
However, developers Store Property, who are behind the overall scheme, need to vary the outline planning permission for the shopping area to pave the way for a retailer such as Next to sell clothing and footwear in a non-food unit, and have asked for the range of goods which can be sold to be extended.
They are also seeking a slight increase in the overall sales area of the two shopping units from 2,888 to 3,028 sq m and claim the impact of the changes on Rustington and Littlehampton would not be significant.
Dalton Warner Davis, agents for Store Property, say in a statement accompanying the application for the changes: “Although contracts have not been agreed, retailers such as Next are the type of retailer that the applicant has in mind, and have expressed interest.”
The agents point out that Arun’s own retail study showed most people living in this area visited larger centres such as Worthing or Chichester for fashion and footwear and so they were likely to be the places from where trade was diverted.
“In this regard, it is likely a potential occupier such as Next would to an extent cannibalise trade from their existing stores in close proximity to the application site.”
According to the statement, Arun’s retail consultant considered that it would be helpful to have a clearer idea of the nature of the retailer and preferably the intended occupier, as well as having an idea of how much clothing would be sold in the unit.
The agents add: “As outlined in the introduction, the applicant has not secured contracts for the units and as such there is no certainty regarding the future occupation of the units. However, in order to assist the assessment of the proposed changes, the applicant has a retailer like Next in mind.
“Next sell a large proportion of goods already permitted by the conditions, including homewares and furniture, for example. However, Next also include clothing, footwear and accessories as part of their product range, which at present would be prohibited by the condition.
Likewise, Next would also seek to include a customer café as an ancillary facility for its customers.”