WHAT a wonderful display of local democracy took place last week, when Arun District Council, via their licensing sub-committee, gave an emphatic two-fingered salute to more than 200 people that had opposed Morrisons’ plan to sell alcohol late at night (and early in the morning).
However, this decision did not come as a very great surprise, as big business always have such committees firmly in their pockets.
This latest disgraceful act of ignoring local people’s views by allowing the sale of alcohol until 11pm was simply a precursor for the main planning application which will be considered by the development control (planning) committee in October, only this time it will be a larger committee giving two fingers to over 400 objectors.
After the flowering rhetoric from Morrisons back in June where they stated that their objectives were to be ‘part of the community and support local events’, it would appear that they are now in the process of a rapid change in direction, and are intent on annoying and antagonising the people that live in Aldwick and far from supporting the community are well on the way to installing themselves as the neighbours from hell.
It is interesting that the same press release made a big play about ‘engaging with the community’ and ‘supporting local charities and events’.
When the Bognor Dog Training Club requested support for their hugely-popular annual dog show (all proceeds to charity) last June, Morrisons not only failed to offer any help but didn’t even have the courtesy to reply to the club’s letter, unlike the other long-established large supermarket in the town who kindly donated gift vouchers.
The planning application, which will go through the motions in October will predictably get the nod and will firmly place Aldwick on the map as the late-night alcohol venue of choice for our growing number of street drinkers.
There is, of course, for those living nearby, the other major concern, that of noise from the air conditioning and refrigeration units which are to be installed at the rear of the building, with little or no sound proofing.
Nearby residents will be expected to live with a constant low-level buzzing noise, making a quiet afternoon in their gardens a thing of the past.
Morrisons have of course been made fully aware of the potential problems but as it will not affect them at their HQ in Bradford, they have clearly chosen to ignore these concerns and treat those living nearby with contempt.