Leaflet campaign to alert residents about store plan

CAMPAIGNERS are delivering thousands of leaflets to Aldwick residents to alert them to a new convenience store.

The Friends of the Ship Inn have enlisted volunteers to go to homes likely to be affected by the change of use of the pub in Aldwick Street.

Morrisons is converting the premises to one of its M convenience stores and has asked Arun District Council for a premises licence to enable alcohol to be sold 18 hours a day.

Phil Lewis, of the Friends, said: “We are very concerned that this will attract undesirables to the area to buy cheap booze.

“Morrisons has applied for a licence from 6am until midnight, times which we consider absurd and likely to cause problems.

“We do not consider that there is anyone who lives in this area that would need or want to purchase alcohol from a mini-Morrisons at either 6am or midnight.”

The Friends had conceded defeat in keeping the pub open, he said, but were intent on helping to minimise the effect of the store on nearby residents.

This followed votes at the Friends’ annual meeting last month to keep the group and to work with the building’s neighbours who fear the store’s opening will bring disturbance and extra traffic into the area.

Planning law enables retailers to buy pubs and use the sites for new stores without the need to gain planning permission from councils.

Both uses are contained in the same category. Only aspects such as signs and selling alcohol need approval.

The Friends group has succeeded in getting The Ship Inn registered as an asset of community value.

This means residents have the right to bid for the premises if owner, Enterprise Inns, decides to sell.