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Work on store in former hotel starts

MORE than £1.25m is being spent converting a former hotel in Pagham into a convenience store.

 

The Co-operative Group has started work on the King’s Beach Hotel after it stood empty for three years.

 

The new store is set to open in mid-November. Staff from the existing Co-op store a few metres north, in The Parade, will be invited to switch to the new site among the 15-20 full and part-time staff set to work there. The current, much smaller, store will then close.

 

Tony Hind, the Co-op Group’s head of new store development, said: “We’re committed to finding great locations for our new stores.

 

“We know people want to buy high quality food near to where they live and work, in handy-sized shops that are open at convenient times.

 

“We opened 100 new stores last year and will open another 100 this year and are always on the lookout for new sites where we can be at the heart of local life.”

 

But Pagham Beach Residents’ Association chairman David Huntley said: “We would have liked the building to stay as a pub and a hotel.

 

“We miss the pub being here. We see no reason why the upper floor of the building can’t become a pub. We would also like the store to be called the King’s Beach Co-op. We feel it’s the least they can do.

 

“They could also enable the current Co-op to be used as a community space when it closes as a store.”

 

Mr Huntley said he was unsure how much demand existed for the new store.

 

“We have plenty of food shops in Pagham and Rose Green, and a lot of food businesses like takeaways as well.

 

“What we don’t have now in this part of Pagham is a pub, along with a post office, greengrocer’s or a bank – all the services that people need for their daily lives.

 

“We feel Arun District Council have been too slack in protecting their pubs, like the King’s Beach and The Ship Inn in Aldwick,” he said. “The site has also looked a mess for too long.”

 

The King’s Beach opened in the 1930s and took its name from the stay by King George V in 1929 in nearby Craigweil House in Aldwick.

 

It closed in 2014. A previous plan by the Co-op was rejected by Arun that year on three grounds.

 

A planning inspector backed one of them – that changes to the building’s bay windows, doors and openings would harm its appearance.

 

The Co-op’s second application to take account of the ruling was approved by Arun in August, 2015, but work on the site has only recently begun.

 

Simon Finlay, acquisitions manager for the Co-op, said: “We’re looking forward to opening a new store in Pagham. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to provide shoppers with our wide range of award-winning food in a store designed to be easy to use for everyone.”

 

The new store will have a 2,000sq ft sales area with a bakery and locally sourced products.

Posted in News.

3 Comments

  1. It’s interesting that a major retail chain can acquire a property, leave it for 3 years to become an eyesore and then convert it into a convenience store and expect everyone to forgive them for dithering whilst they failed to re-sell it and left them with no choice as they overpaid for the property.

    I fear it will be another “wrong store in the wrong place” a famous Cooperative trait that will never be forgotten, they are pulling the soul out of every community they do this to.

  2. The only good thing to come out off this sad story is at least the building is not left to just rot away and the land is not being used to build more houses!! I am surprised The co-op are going ahead with the plans, there is already two more co-ops in rose green just down the road!! So why have yet another!! The current one in the parade surely is able size for the area? Will have to wait and see, but if the Ship in aldwick being turned into convenience store, is anything to go by will see if it was all worth it!! Just saying !!

  3. I would be interested to know if the rooms above the co op will become flats to let. Any chance????

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