Residents’ dream of reviving a former pub in Aldwick by clubbing together to buy the freehold has been put under threat.
The Ship Inn in Aldwick Street, which closed in 2014 and was converted into a food shop, has stood empty for around two years.
A new planning application from One Stop Stores Limited, which seeks permission to change the frequency and times of deliveries to the site, has now been submitted to Arun District Council – prompting fears the building could soon be refurbished and reopened.
Roger Beam, chairman of the Friends of the Ship Inn, said there was ‘vehement local opposition’ to a store but ‘large scale support’ for a local neighbourhood pub-restaurant.
He said: “A convenience store in this location will not work.
“Aldwick Street is busy and narrow; there is no pavement on the north side and no pedestrian crossing; entering and exiting the car park all day and night, particularly deliveries, will be dangerous.”
He added that there was already a small convenience store in the parade and a Co-Op in Rose Green.
While residents cannot object to the building becoming a shop, Mr Beam encouraged people to have their say on the application, which seeks permission for 35 deliveries per week to the site.
The application can be viewed by searching reference AW/237/19/PL on the council’s planning portal.
Mr Beam said: “This new threat to our ambition to revive the Ship Inn can be seen off until such time as we have been able to raise the money we need to buy the freehold.”
A public meeting at Mosse Hall, St Richard’s Church, will be held at 7pm on Tuesday (September 10) to discuss the group’s vision to restore the building to a ‘friendly, good value, community pub’.
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