The village shop in High Salvington is set to shut, the leaseholder has confirmed.
Vino Vinojan, the leaseholder of the store, who has run the shop for more than 15 years, said he had been asked to vacate the premises by January.
As a result, he has taken the decision to close the shop and the post office on October 31.
However, there are hopes that the building will continue to be used as a village shop.
Mary Meadows, chairman of the High Salvington Residents’ Association, confirmed that the association’s attempts to purchase the freehold of the shop had been unsuccessful.
The association launched a drive to raise funds to buy the site after it was put up for auction last year.
Residents, who feared the site could be redeveloped, said the shop was relied upon by many people in the community, particularly elderly residents.
Efforts by the residents’ association successfully saw the village shop registered as a community asset and the auction was cancelled.
The fundraising drive for a Freehold Purchase Fund continued and adequate funds were raised, but Mrs Meadows has confirmed that they were unable to reach an acceptable agreement with the freeholder.
She said: “The High Salvington Residents’ Association Committee are extremely disappointed that they were unsuccessful in their attempts to purchase the freehold of the High Salvington Village Stores (Shop, Post Office and hairdressers) in order to prevent any future sale of the site.
“We had hoped to achieve the same as the residents in Findon Village did in acquiring ownership of their, now very well run by the community, stores.”
She said the committee were aware that the leaseholder had been served with a formal notice to leave the store and understood that the existing shop would close at the end of October – as well as the Post Office.
She said: “The committee has this week expressed their serious concerns, over the imminent loss of the Post Office, to the freeholder and have also forwarded the serious concerns of the High Salvington Post Office to the freeholder.
“We await any further developments.”
A planning application which seeks to convert the roof space over the village shop into a self-contained two bedroom flat has been submitted.
A similar application – which many residents objected to – was refused by Worthing Borough Council earlier this year, due to concerns around visual impact and neighbouring amenity.
The new plans show that the design of the development has been altered.
Mrs Meadows said: “The committee is somewhat encouraged by the fact that, within the associated Planning and Design and Access Statement it reads ‘The Village Shop and Post Office are clearly an important Asset of Community Value and the proposals seek to retain these uses at ground floor level’.
“The High Salvington Residents’ Association Committee certainly hopes that these words will be honoured.
“We hereby appeal, on behalf of this community, that a shop will be reinstated and the Post Office will be spared from closure.
“The High Salvington Village Stores (shop, Post Office & hairdressers) is the hub of the community of High Salvington.”
To see the application in full, search AWDM/1489/19 on the council’s planning portal.