‘EXCITING’ new plans have been announced this week for a retail park on the outskirts of Rustington.
Store Property, long-standing landlords of Rustington’s thriving shopping precinct, has agreed to purchase land west of Mill Lane, along the A259 in ‘the interest of protecting’ the village’s centre.
The site was originally owned by Brighton-based Totem Developments, who wanted to build five large retail units and a restaurant on it – a move which Store Property feared would damage the trade in Rustington.
Sarah Wickens, of Store Property, said: “We have a long and rich history with Rustington and we are always keen to promote the village centre and the businesses within it.
“However, we were concerned about the scale of the provisions proposed on this site and the possible impact that it could have had on the high street.
“We feared that Rustington might not have coped if this plan had been approved. So in the interests of protecting its future we took the decision to purchase the land.”
Planning application has not yet been submitted for the site. However, early plans, displayed at two exhibitions, one in Rustington and the other in Angmering, showed the site would be split in two.
On the west side, a large food retailer and non-food store will be situated.
On the other side would be a sizable car dealership and showroom. Store Property announced that Chandlers BMW would be able to use the four-acre plot, which would free-up space at their current site, in Ash Lane.
Sarah added: “We would hope to get a large retailer into this site and generate more trade within the village centre.”
The proposals have been welcomed by the Ian Greig president of the Rustington Chamber of Trade and Commerce, which looks after the interests of the village’s businesses.
Mr Greig said: “I think anything that brings people into the village is positive.
“It depends, of course, on what retailer is brought in. But Store Property is an excellent landlord and very conscientious of the village. So I welcome the move.”
However, he said the village’s current parking infrastructure would need to be looked at, if a larger retailer was to open.