Littlehampton Waitrose site plans refused: developer responds to decision

An artist's impression of what the Waitrose site could look like. Picture: POD Architects SUS-190121-102412001
An artist's impression of what the Waitrose site could look like. Picture: POD Architects SUS-190121-102412001

Plans to turn the former Waitrose site into flats have been refused by Arun District Council’s planning officers.

In January, developers Ropemaker Properties submitted their application for the Avon Road site, which had been vacant since the supermarket moved out of Littlehampton in 2015.

This included demolishing the existing buildings and building 83 homes there, with 158.5 square metres of retail space.

But Arun’s planning officers decided to refuse the application.

The decision notice, signed by Neil Crowther, Arun’s group head of planning, said: “By virtue of its unacceptable design, excessive site coverage, height, bulk, and unacceptable relationship with neighbouring properties the proposal represents an over development of the site which is not in keeping with the character and appearance of the area.”

It added that the plans failed to make an adequate contribution to affordable housing provision and other infrastructure, and that ‘the proposal would result in the loss of a large retail unit’ which would not be adequately replaced. 
The plans received 35 objections from the public and Littlehampton Town Council also opposed the scheme, citing the lack of retail space. The committee followed the recommendation of Arun’s planning officers.

June Caffyn, Conservative councillor for Courtwick with Toddington,supported the application. She said afterward it was a ‘big mistake’ as there was a ‘great need to create local job opportunities’.

A spokesman for the developer said: “We are currently reviewing the options available to us following Arun District Council’s decision and will update in due course.”