Littlehampton chip shop owner criticises seafront development plans

Charlie Williams, 28, is concerned about the seafront redevelopment. Picture: Derek Martin
Charlie Williams, 28, is concerned about the seafront redevelopment. Picture: Derek Martin

The owner of a chip shop on Littlehampton seafront has voiced his concerns over plans to redevelop the area.

Arun District Council has submitted plans to change the use of parts of the seafront to allow temporary food and drink outlets, watersports facilities and attractions on the promenade east of Harbour Park and south-east of Banjo Road during peak seasons.

But Charlie Williams, who runs Williams & Sons fish and chip shop in Coastguard Road in Arun Parade, said the plans would damage his livelihood.

He said: “My family has worked on the seafront for over 50 years over three generations, and these plans would have huge impact on my business.

“It’s a double whammy – more traders, less customers.

“I simply cannot understand the poorly thought out plans that have been put forward.”

According to the plans, the temporary food outlets could include a pizza oven, ice cream, crepes and waffles, burgers and sausages, gin and prosecco, cakes and pastries, jacket potatoes, seafood, burritos and artisan street food.

But Mr Williams said it was out of character with the seafront. He said: “That is a nice way of sugar coating burger vans and trailers.

“It is a step back in time – it isn’t a market, it is a lovely seafront and we work hard to keep it that way.”

He also feared that promenade attractions would create a bottlenecking of pedestrians and the beach train in the summer, branding it a safety hazard.

The area south of Banjo Road is currently used as a coach park, the 28-year-old said. The business owner feared the loss of this space could deter coaches full of day-trippers from visiting, and take away an important revenue stream for the chip shop in poor weather.

As a resident living in South Terrace, he also feared that parking could get worse if coaches resort to parking in the street.

An Arun spokesman said they wanted members of the public to share their views on the application before April 30. They added: “An assessment of the application will not be made until that publicity period has expired.

“Further comments are welcomed in writing or via the Arun District Council website (Planning application number LU/91/19/PL) during this period.”