HAILSHAM: Fears store would ruin town centre character

The site for a proposed extension to The Quintins
The site for a proposed extension to The Quintins

TESCO in Hailsham could have some competition on its hands if plans to build a budget supermarket in the town centre are given the go-ahead.

Derbyshire County Council’s pension fund, which owns the Quintins shopping centre, has earmarked land at the Quintins southern car park, for a 14,000 square foot value supermarket and new car park deck over the existing Northern Car Park.

Budget retailers, such as Aldi and Lidl, have previously eyed the town but their applications were rejected by Wealden District Council. A design and access statement put together on behalf of the applicants states, “The town centre currently supports a number of supermarkets, including the one within the Quintins.

“However despite this there has been and continues to be a strong demand by value food store chains who are not present in the town, for space within or close to the town centre.”

But Hailsham resident, Richard Harvey, 64, is worried that if given the go-ahead, the supermarket will destroy the character of the town centre.

“This latest move will see the complete collapse of our High Street to the greed of Derbyshire County Council pension fund who own the Quintins,” he said.

“I would much rather they concerned themselves with attracting manufacturing companies to provide jobs.”

The planning application follows pre-application discussions with Wealden District Council, East Sussex County Council and Hailsham Town Council.

A further period of public consultation will be undertaken by Wealden District Council before making a decision.