A DIRECTOR at one of the nation’s largest retailers has agreed to alter construction plans for a new superstore in Rustington, following widespread complaints.
In recent weeks, the Sainsbury’s redevelopment at the Rustington Retail Park, in New Road, has come under fire from angry residents and Worthing West MP, Sir Peter Bottomley – who criticised the store’s design as ‘appalling’ and ‘insensitive’.
Residents of Dinsdale Field had raised their concerns the retailer was set to install ‘noisy’ air-conditioning units and generators just feet away from their homes.
However, following a meeting between the retail giant, Sir Peter, affected homeowners and district councillor for Rustington East Philippa Bower, on Friday (August 23), Dean Clegg, director of store development for Sainsbury’s, promised changes would be made.
He said: “We held a very positive meeting with three of our local residents, Sir Peter and councillor Philippa Bower to discuss their concerns, and identify ways we can respond to them.
“We’ve listened to their feedback and have agreed to relocate our air-conditioning units, so we can bring forward a scheme that will be acceptable to everyone.
“We will also be working with our design teams to enhance the landscaping and screening of the plant.”
Retired builder Colin Partridge, 66, has lived with his wife Susan in nearby Burmill Mews for nine years.
He said he felt cautiously optimistic about the company’s promise and described the outcome as a win for the village.
“I am pleased Sainsbury’s has said it will move the air-conditioning unit,” admitted Colin. “But I’m still very suspicious about the whole situation.
“I don’t really have a lot of faith in the company. Over the years we have had a lot of trouble with them as they made promises that they didn’t keep – previous claims of compensation that never materialised.
“So I really hope they keep these promises and we can draw a line under this whole situation.”
However, Cllr Bower said she felt extremely confident Sainsbury’s would deliver on its promises – which included the movement of the air-conditioning unit, the hiring of a specialist to evaluate fire safety on the site, landscaping, the implementation of an acoustic wall to reduce noise, an assessment to see how much structural damage was done to neighbouring properties and a compensation agreement.
“I have every confidence that Sainsbury’s is going to fulfil its promises,” said Cllr Bower. “I take my hat of to Sir Peter for all his work in arranging this meeting. Hopefully this will be the end.”