A demolition order for dilapidated buildings in Bognor Regis’ Waterloo Square has been served by council officers.
Its application has yet to be determined but the agent for the scheme HJ Concepts has repeatedly written to officers asking for a decision to be expedited.
However environmental health officers at the council have now served a demolition order, with a notice attached outside the site.
It describes how the council is satisfied ‘the most satisfactory course of action in respect of the premises is the service of a demolition order’.
The order would become operative on February 12. The buildings would have to be demolished by March 26.
Lib Dem Matt Stanley, a town and district councillor, said: “I was shocked to hear Arun District Council have decided to take it upon themselves to issue a demolition order for 2-4 Waterloo Square.
“There is no escaping the fact 2-4 Waterloo Square is only in the condition it is due to Arun District Council’s persistent failure to ensure the maintenance of their own properties.
“Arun District Council themselves define these buildings of being ones with special historic character and they are also within a conservation area.
“They have a duty to ensure the preservation of our town’s heritage for the community and future generations, this just seems like an easy, convenient option for the council.
“This decision makes a mockery of the whole planning process and denies both residents and councillors the opportunity to scrutinise the decision.
“Unless evidence is provided that proves these buildings are in imminent danger of collapse I sincerely hope the council revokes this order and allows the proper democratic planning process to continue.”