Uncertainty hangs over an historic former hotel which remains boarded up and an ‘eyesore’ for a village.
The Co-operative Group bought the King’s Beach Hotel in Pagham more than two years ago and has planning permission to convert it into a supermarket.
Work had started on its conversion, but after repeated delays in the project that work has now not continued for several months.
Pagham Parish Council chairman Ray Radmal believes the Co-operative could have dropped the plans.
He said: “The Co-Operative came to us more than two years ago with their plans and clearly we were not happy because we felt it was a great shame to lose the facility, which was a hotel on the first floor and a local pub on the ground floor.
“There was also a petition against it which had more than 300 signatures.
“Despite the opposition, planning approval was granted, it was boarded up and they started gutting the interior, both downstairs and upstairs.
“But we have not seen any action for several months and people have been getting upset because it doesn’t paint Pagham in a good light.
“We have not had anything official from the Co-Op so there’s some confusion, it was supposed to completed last summer, then at Christmas.”
“I have heard, though not officially, that there may have been some contamination found, and that they weren’t happy with the floor space there.
“Or maybe they’re worried about the flooding situation, because if we did have a breach it would be right in line for the surge of tidal water.
“Perhaps they have decided to reconsider?”
Pagham resident Betty Speechley said people in the village were wondering what was going on.
She said: “I am sure people you speak to here will be in complete agreement over this eyesore.”
The Observer is waiting for a comment from the Co-Operative Group on its plans for the former pub and hotel.
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