David and Goliath, but the giant wins

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So the Rother Planning Committee (meeting of Nov. 14th) has given the Jempson Juggernaut permission to steamroller into Northiam, despite Northiam Parish Council’s rejection of its latest two planning applications (Sept. 9th) and the objections of numerous villagers.

Meanwhile, despite the Parish Councils’s approval of a plan for a modest expansion of the existing Spar shop, Rother has decided to block that. All’s fair, it seems and may the big boys win every time.

But Rother has a message of sympathy and encouragement for the Spar shop in its defeat. Competition is a healthy thing and so the Spar shop is invited to go to the expense of re-applying with a different expansion plan ... one that doesn’t involve more floor space or increasing the building’s height, perhaps. Hmm... I wasn’t a whiz at maths at school, but even I can work that one out.

What swung it Jempsons way eventually was the assertion that: but for Jempsons’ agreement to house the post office, Northiam would be without a post office facility once the existing post office closes. Yet the Post Office was also in negotiation with the Spar shop, which was also poised and ready to supply this essential amenity for the village. Perhaps the committee had forgotten that.

Anthony McDonald

Broadland Row, Brede