VOTE: Do you feel rejecting an Asda store was a missed chance for Bognor Regis?

Supporters of Asda opening in Bognor Regis have spoken out against the company’s arrival along the coast.

The retailer will be opening a store in Ferring next year. But those who backed its £30m bid to come to Shripney Road have said the news reinforced their view Bognor should be benefiting from an Asda.

It was three years ago today Arun District Council rejected Asda’s plans for Oldlands Farm.

Aldwick Felds resident Jan Malpas, 59, was among those angry at the decision. She said: “It’s all about Arun making decisions for people in Bognor and those decisions being made by people who don’t live in the town.

“To me, that’s the important point - that all the councillors who refused Asda, except one, lived on the other side of the River Arun.

“Thank God Sainsbury’s are coming here but how much better it would have been to regenerate Bognor if we had them and Asda.

“Asda would have brought more people to the town and made it more interesting for other retailers.

“It would have been a great opportunity and it would have provided hundreds of new jobs.”

Bognor Regis Civic Society campaigned in favour of Asda’s 48,000sq ft store in the town with its 150 full time and 300 part time workers being given planning permission.

Deputy chairman Hugh Coster said: “It’s a terrific shame that the chance of Asda coming to Bognor was lost.

“It is another example of Bognor being let down by Arun. Asda would not only have benefited Bognor’s residents but it would also have brought people from around West Sussex to shop here.

“Now we find Asda is going east of the river in a location which is not really going to benefit anyone.

“To add insult to injury, Arun is now considering spending taxpayers’ money to buy the land which Asda wanted.”

A council spokeswoman said it had no control over Asda’s arrival in Ferring. The company bought the leasehold of the Country Fayre site from its former operator with planning permission for a new building.

“Asda, in acquiring a long leasehold interest in the site, has obtained the benefit of an existing planning permission. This would allow the supermarket to open and operate a store within the limits set by the original planning permission granted to the original owner.

“No separate application was ever received from Asda for the site nor has any revised application been received since the supermarket purchased the site from Country Fayre,” she said.