LETTER: Old Town residents treasure Albert Parade

Open letter to the CEO of Sainsbury’s:

As a resident of Old Town, Eastbourne, I wanted to bring your attention to an article in last week’s Eastbourne Herald. It regards the future opening of the Sainsbury’s store in Albert Parade, Old Town.

I hope you will take a moment to read the article and in doing so you may get a feeling of how desperately saddened we all are to have the new store threaten our existing shops on the Parade. Albert Parade is a unique and historic row of shops in Eastbourne and has been successfully trading for decades through many generations. It is the last of its kind to be still trading in a traditional independent way in Eastbourne and is a great asset to Old Town. Many other parades have already dwindled away. The proposed opening of a store at ‘The Drive’ has made everyone fear for their livelihoods and for the community. Once these businesses have been damaged, we all know they rarely recover.

Eastbourne has been crammed full of supermarkets and ‘Express’ stores in the last five years and this new store is not at all needed in this area. You might also be surprised to hear that there is a general feeling of despair and resentment growing towards this development, which I’m sure no one would normally wish upon any new business venture. Everyone is worried about losing the Albert Parade shops. We really, really don’t want this Sainsbury’s but no one is listening to us.

The other concern for the location of the store is the complicated junction on which it sits and the existing traffic problems. There are six schools close by with all their respective school-run traffic. There are also countless pedestrians at peak school times, walking by and crossing at the zebra outside. The new store would merely add to the chaos with cars coming in and out. Locals are foreseeing accidents galore.

You may be amused to learn that many people have rolled their eyes at me for trying to appeal to you at this eleventh hour. They think I’m wasting my time. They have been forced to come to terms with the fact that our community will be devalued and that nothing seems to be able to stop the Sainsbury’s steamroller. Everyone is very upset about it. Even our hard-working MP Stephen Lloyd couldn’t get through to you. However, I feel I have to write one last time. Please, please reconsider this move for Sainsbury’s. We love and treasure Albert Parade.”

Karen Weston

Greenfield Road