There’s no doubt in my mind that the reason so many businesses are now closing up in Littlehampton Town Centre is a direct result of the over-expansion of supermarkets.
Even Blockbusters which was a great asset to the town centre has closed its door and will be replaced by a Morrisons supermarket.
This, despite the fact that Morrisons have only recently opened up a new, large, state of the art supermarket complex on the entrance to Littlehampton.
No opportunity is missed by the big supermarkets to advertise their aggressiveness as the above picture taken in Littlehampton Town Centre shows.
Here we have yet another vacant shop premises, the grave of town centre retailing seen as an advertising opportunity for ASDAs
So who is to blame for Littlehampton’s town centre’s freefall into degeneration?
There’s no doubt in my mind that Arun District Council have danced merrily with the big supermarket chains holding the cash-filled hands of Mr Morrisons, Mr Tescos and Madam Asdas by granting planning permissions for shops the size of city airports in return for a wad full of cash – agreements they euphemistically refer to as ‘Section 106 Agreements’ but could only be considered as bribes by any right minded person.
The first £60,000 of S106 Agreement monies from Morrisons in return for the out of town planning permissions was swiftly handed over to one of the Council’s Consultants to further study the building of a in-town shopping centre for which Arun District Council has no money to build.
Meanwhile, local shops are closing. Footfall is falling daily now as shoppers desert Littlehampton town centre in favour of out of town giant retail complexes.
Iconic Body Shop’s Littlehampton retail premises will close its doors later this month. A sad day, given that the late Dame Anita Roddick established her worldwide retail success here in Littlehampton. While Body Shop HQ thankfully remains in Littlehamton – ironically one of their factory buildings is now home to the new Morrisons.
The above shop, Mark Kimber shoes closed just before Christmas.
Shoe-2-Boot – closed also and as usual the property landlords see no need in giving the place a lick of paint. Far better to leave it as a standing testament to the ongoing and continuing degeneration of a once viable, vibrant town.
Who would have thought that shoe shops would be a thing of the past?
Yet, Arun District Council’s commitment to be as supermarket-friendly as ever continues unabated as the ‘regeneration team’ at Arun District Council ensure that not only more supermarkets are given planning permissions to open stores, but existing ones are allowed to expand, quite literally to the size of small towns.
And as for Arun District Council’s supposed commitment to regeneration, some pictures below follow of one of Arun District Council’s buildings which has been allowed to deteriorate into an unsightly mess.
The above picture is one of Arun District Council’s buildings.
It’s joined to the Town Council’s main building. The Town Council’s building which you can see below is always beautifully presented, painted and great care and attention taken with the gardens and is a very popular with weddings, civil partnerships as well as housing a splendid museum.
But what impression are Arun District Council giving with their dilapidated building?
Surely it doesn’t take a team of consultants to get Arun District Council up off their well-paid backsides and give their building a lick of paint, and a new pane of glass, which would at least give the impression that Littlehampton isn’t some sort of slum destination, which it certainly isn’t.
Note the differences.
1. The derelict eyesore belongs to Arun District Council compete with boarded up door.
2. The well-kept, beautifully presented building alongside belongs to the Town Council.
3. Arun District Council trump and shout as loud as they can about regenerating Littlehampton, but yet can’t or won’t see that they are in many ways helping promote degeneration and decline by failing to look after their own buildings.
4. Arun District Council has recently used its enforcement powers to tackle property owners who allow their properties fall into a derelict and unacceptable state blighting neighborhoods. I agree with their actions, but why haven’t they sorted out their own buildings also?
But it doesn’t just stop at buildings.
Here’s an Arun District Council seafront sign which clearly has either seen better days, or, which is more likely was created and designed by someone who underestimated the seafront elements.
An excellent posting on Supermarkets has been posted in the comments section to this Article, just below.
To make sure it’s not missed, you can read it here.