Supporters who want to re-open an Aldwick pub have been urged to attend a protest meeting.
The Friends of The Ship Inn are holding the meeting to kick-start opposition to latest plans for the empty building in Aldwick Street.
Tesco-owned One Stop has applied for planning permission for the deliveries it wants to supply its proposed convenience store.
But the Friends are working on their own plan to re-open the building as a pub/restaurant.
Roger Beam, the Friends’ chairman, said:
“We want to stop One Stop until we have raised enough money to buy the Ship Inn site. We have to make it clear to them that, like Morrisons and My Local before them, their proposed convienience store will fail for several reasons.”
The meeting will take place at 7pm next Tuesday at Mosse Hall at St Richard’s Church, in St Richard’s Way, Aldwick.
The Ship Inn was closed by its then owner, Enterprise Inns, in 2014. The building was briefly leased to Morrisons before the lease was taken on by My Local. Both ventures failed and the building has since stood empty. It has recently been bought by Surplus Property Investments.
Mr Beam said he understood a deal between Surplus Property and One Stop had yet to be signed. But the retailer had asked Arun District Council to vary the delivery restrictions on the planning approval for a store it awarded to Morrisons in 2014.
It appeared from the application, said Mr Beam, that One Stop wanted 35 deliveries a week by HGVs to its planned store from 6am to 9pm. It was time for residents to show their strong opposition to the store and support for a neighbourhood pub-restaurant.
“We need to show One Stop that they should forget the idea before they start refurbishing the building and we must deluge Arun now with objections to the planning application.”
A store was the wrong use for the site, he added. Aldwick Street was busy and narrow and lacked a pavement and crossing outside the site. A small store was open opposite and nearby Rose Green was more convenient for shopping.