The freehold of High Salvington’s treasured village shop will no longer be sold at an auction after the building was successfully registered as an asset of community value.
Residents had feared the land in Salvington Hill, Worthing, could be redeveloped if it was sold.
But an auction of the freehold, due to take place last Wednesday, was cancelled after Worthing Borough Council confirmed that the shop, as well as the adjoining post office and hairdressers, had been granted community asset status.
Mary Meadows, chairman of High Salvington Residents’ Association which put forward the bid, said: “Residents have responded very positively to the news.”
When a building is listed as a community asset it gives residents the right to bid on it, if and when it is put up for sale, and a six month period in which to come up with the funds.
Mrs Meadows said: “The association of course remains completely committed to the residents’ wishes to attempt to purchase the freehold, thereby securing The Village Shop together with the current leaseholders still in place, for the ongoing benefit of those living in our community.
“The Village Shop keeper, Vino Vinojan, in particular has provided a great service to the residents over the last 15 years and is now considered as being part and parcel of the High Salvington community.”
She said fundraising would continue and thanked all the residents who had ‘very generously’ pledged towards the Freehold Purchase Fund.
Any residents keen to contribute to the fund should contact Mrs Meadows as soon as possible.
Around 250 residents attended an emergency meeting at the end of June to discuss the future of the land and unanimously decided the shop should remain.
Residents said the shop acted as a community hub and was relied upon by many people, particularly elderly residents in the area, some of whom do not drive.