TRADERS have expressed concerns over a major scheme to redevelop the Quintins Shopping Centre.
But those behind the plan insist it will improve shopping in the town and make Hailsham ‘more attractive’.
If the project gets the go ahead it could see a new supermarket in place of the southern car park with a new car deck over the existing northern car park.
A public meeting was held earlier this month when concerns were raised over potential traffic problems and a loss of parking spaces in the long term.
The Quintins is owned by the pension fund of Derbyshire County Council which is being advised by Kenneth Peters, a firm of commercial property advisers.
A spokesman for the company said the land is the only town centre site capable of meeting the requirements for a new supermarket, and Wealden District Council has identified the car park as a potential site.
Malcolm Adams, the chair of Hailsham Chamber of Commerce, which represents 40 businesses and traders, told the Gazette, “The main concern from traders has been the lack of car parking provision and the additional traffic which will exacerbate the problems around George Street.”
A spokesman for Kenneth Peters said the planned car parking is in accordance with county council requirements and the highways department had raised no objections to the proposal on the grounds of traffic.
He added, “The redevelopment of the site will deliver a number of substantial benefits to the town centre, including the delivery of a high quality mixed use development providing an improved retail loop between St Mary’s Walk and the Quintins.
“We want to emphasize our objective which is to improve and make Hailsham a more attractive and successful shopping centre.”
A final decision on the plans is expected to be made by Wealden District Council at a later date.