Progress on repairs to Langney Shopping Centre is not moving fast enough and the amount of information that is being released is almost non-existent, according to campaigners.
This week, as work was due to start on repairing the damage caused when the roof collapsed in December, Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd challenged the owners over how long it is taking to get some positive action on re-opening the beleaguered centre.
“Langney Shopping Centre is crucial for the people of Langney,” said Mr Lloyd. “We have waited long enough and I’ve been told that remedial building work has been started, but there must be no more excuses.”
It is widely reported that the centre owner’s representatives from London and Associated Management Services have engaged contractors to undertake work to reinforce the roofs of shopping units. This work involves the installation of new brackets to support the main beams.
The first stage of the work involves individual tenants taking down the ceiling tiles and fixtures and fittings in order to allow the contractor to carry out their works. The main reinforcement work is being undertaken during April.
Contractors have also been engaged to start work on the reconstruction of the main section of roof, which collapsed in December.
Mr Lloyd said, “We have been advised that preliminary works are being undertaken and that the construction part of this re-building will begin during April and will take nine weeks to complete. LAMs has not released any information about the nature of this rebuilding work.
“We understand that Wealden District Council Building Control officers have accepted that the building may need to re-open in phases as different areas are completed and declared safe.
“Although there is no official schedule of work there is a prospect of shopping units starting to re-open through May and June.
“The owners have behaved with a total lack of consideration for the residents and traders. Information has had to be dragged out of them
“ It is time the public were told why the roof collapsed because if people had been killed, we would all be demanding a Public Inquiry.
“The residents of Eastbourne have a right to know.”