Plans to extend Langney Shopping Centre have been submitted and work to repair the roof has started.
The roof of the popular shopping centre caved in four days before Christmas and the centre has remained closed ever since.
A dangerous structure notice has been put on the building and owners, London and Associated Management Services (LAMS), have been tight-lipped on why the collapse happened and when the centre will reopen.
But work has this week started on the roof and been welcomed by Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd.
Mr Lloyd said the work was ‘vital’ but added, “People living in Langney are desperate to have their shopping centre open again as soon as possible but I believe it is also important to have a full explanation of the reasons why the roof fell in.”
A planning application to extend the centre by nine units has been submitted to the council. The extension will create more floor space at the east side of the existing centre and includes a new double height glazed entrance. In the planning documents the applicant says the design of the extended centre would be ‘sympathetic and appropriate’.
Mr Lloyd said, “This is good news and the modernisation of the centre, which is such a vital hub for the Langney community, will be hugely welcomed by local residents.”
Cllr Alan Shuttleworth, who has called for more information from LAMS, said, “Langney people are really frustrated at the length of time that it is taking to get the centre repaired and reopened. I intend to keep fighting for a fair deal for the local traders.
“It is important that local people have an opportunity to view the plans for the extension, but the most important requirement locally is to get Langney Shopping Centre open for business.”