Group’s future hangs in the balance ahead of vote

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A SPECIAL meeting is being held by the supporters of a former pub.

The Friends of the Ship Inn will stage the extraordinary general meeting next Wednesday.

It will take place at 7pm in the Aldwick Parish Council offices in Pryors Lane. One item will be on the agenda – to continue the Friends or wind the group up.

This follows the decision of Arun District Council last December by 9-4 votes to allow Morrisons to build a new extension to the closed Ship Inn on Aldwick Street.

That effectively ended any hopes of reviving the pub after it closed about eight months earlier.

Friends chairman Roger Beam said: “The original reason for the Friends existence was to save the Ship. So, members have to decide whether to keep the organisation going or end it.”

An executive committee meeting of the Friends decided last month to recommend to members the association should continue. “The Morrisons store will have a major and detrimental impact on Aldwick and the neighbourhood,” said Dr Beam.

“We believe there are still important issues to scrutinise and question as a result of Arun’s decision.”

These include the conditions placed on Morrisons by councillors regarding deliveries and devising a car park management scheme.

“Works by West Sussex highways have been ordered to Aldwick Street to accommodate the ‘uncontrolled’ pedestrian crossing to the store and the parking bay will be moved,” he said.

“The works are subject to a road safety audit and the shifting of the parking bay will probably require a traffic regulation order and, therefore, a public consultation.”