I was most grateful to you for publishing my letter last week about the proliferation of out of town retail units along the A259 and the impact on town centres.
My letter was edited to remove the sentence ‘Waitrose were financially incentivised by Store Property Ltd to move to Rustington and with Store Property still paying the lease to the freeholder the building has been left empty ever since’. I am able to substantiate that statement to remove any nervousness you may have about printing it.
It is contained in a letter from Mr Michael Finnegan of Waitrose dated June 13, 2017, to the Arun Planners in objection to the M&S application. It reads: “We strongly disagree with the comments that Waitrose in Littlehampton failed to operate successfully or that the store was ‘not viable’ whilst it was open there. That is simply not correct. Waitrose invested a considerable sum in fitting out and moving into the Littlehampton store in 2011. The store was purpose built as a food supermarket so was physically suitable and traded well for us during this time. The decision to relocate to Rustington was triggered by a significant and commercially generous package by the landlord of the Rustington Store.”
I do not criticise Store Property for this as, of course, they have an eye on footfall to Rustington being as they own much of it. I simply think it is important that the record is clear.
Cllr Derrick Chester
Littlehampton Town Council,
The Manor House
Church Street, Littlehampton
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