Decision made on bid for extended hours at planned new Shoreham Co-op store
Extended opening hours for a proposed new Shoreham Co-op branch were approved on Monday (January 10).
Owner Landmark Estates, intends to lease the unit at the former Riverbank Business Centre, in Old Shoreham Road, to the retailer.
But conditions attached to planning permission for the store – which is part of the Ropetackle development – restricted opening hours to between 8 am and 6 pm, Mondays to Saturdays, and 10 am to 4 pm on Sundays and public holidays.
Landmark Estates said that longer hours were essential to the store’s business model and wanted permission to open between 7 am and 10 pm daily.
An earlier application from One Stop to extend the hours was deferred due to concerns from nearby residents.
John Burrow, interim chair of the Waterfront Residents’ Association, said: “I draw the committee’s attention to the strength of feeling from over 100 estate residents and those on adjoining roads which have been compelled to sign a petition opposing the extended opening hours.
“The plan shows the shop will be serviced by articulated lorries, which will cause significant estate access problems to and from Old Shoreham Road and lead to more noise.”
One waterfront resident said he was not opposed to a convenience store but did not want to be ‘sold a certain lifestyle’ and then see ‘benefits being slowly eroded’.
“We welcome a convenience store with suitable hours – not a store that brings a great inconvenience to the local community,” he said.
Adur District Council’s planning committee hoped that a compromise would be reached between Landmark Estates and residents but the applicant said hours were ‘non-negotiable’.
It warned that the Co-op could withdraw its interest which would leave the unit empty.
James Bradley, managing director at Landmark Estates, said: “Other retail operators are just not interested.”
Andy McGregor (Con, Widewater) wanted to see extended hours rejected altogether due to concerns over anti-social behaviour.
“I saw somebody run out with a box of Stella Artois from the Lancing Co-op, so it does happen,” he said.
But planning officers warned that rejection could lead to an appeal.
Lee Cowen (Lab, Mash Barn) said: “It’s interesting that the hours never ever get reduced; they only get increased.”
Co-op regional acquisitions manager, Craig Smith, said that opening hours of 7 am to 10 pm differed from the company standard.
“As an established, nationwide convenience operator we are experienced in dealing with actual or perceived anti-social activities,” he added.
“We also own and operate our own logistics department, enabling us to minimise the potential of any highway or delivery concerns.”
He said a new store could create 15 to 20 full time jobs.
Steve Neocleous (Con, Churchill) suggested opening hours of 7 am – 10 pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sundays and bank holidays.
This was accepted by the planning committee but angry shouts could be heard from the public.
Committee chair Carol Albury (Con, Manor) said: “That was a difficult decision – our hands are tied by planning regulations.“