Observer Comment: Supermarket wars... you couldn’t invent it if you tried

0
Have your say

Budding novelists would do well to follow the still evolving supermarket story.

They would learn a lot about plot twists and turns and a fair bit about characterisation too.

You could not invent it if you tried - two national supermarket giants fighting for the same patch of land, a Rye councillor sensationally banned from the key debate and the ordinary people of Rye gagged by their Bexhill overlords.

And now the plot thickens yet again with Rother making a 360 degree turn to re-exmaine the Tesco bid it threw out days earlier after it’s planning committee seemingly dropped a clanger.

It is blindingly obvious, to even someone with an under-developed sense of fair play, that if two pupils write an almost identical essay you cannot reward one and punish the other.

The loss of affordable housing issue applied equally to both the Sainsbury’s and Tesco applications.

Now it is Rother Council’s planning committee that is facing the wall in the dunce’s corner.

But while we appreciate the sense of drama, each new development only prolongs the wait for a new supermarket in Rye, which has already dragged on for over a decade.

If the Tesco decision is reversed we are effectively back to square one and will have to settle in for a long hard winter while the lawyers fight it out.

There are so many questions surrounding this. Why did it take East Sussex County Council five years to hold talks with Tesco before offering it the site and a matter of days befpore snatching it away from them and offering it to Sainsbury’s?

Why, in an age where communication has never seemed so important, do Rother not, as most local authoities do, set aside a short public question time before meetings such as this where the outcome will affect so many people?

The important thing now is to move forward in getting a new supermarket for Rye.

Even Rye Chamber of Commerce, who traditionally have opposed the idea of a new supermarket, are now saying “Bring it on!”