A community group in Pevensey Bay has applied for a village pub to be protected from future development as it asks East Sussex County Council to consider opening a new library on the site.
The group, Friends of Pevensey Library, has applied for The Beach Tavern in Sea Road to be listed as an Asset of Community Value by Wealden District Council.
If successful, future owners of the pub could be stopped from selling or demolishing the building for up to six months while the community raises money to buy it.
The move comes as the group calls on the county council to replace Pevensey Library, which has been closed since January 2015 due to flooding and a legal dispute over who is responsible for the repairs.
“Modern libraries are not just about books, they are about community,” said Margaret Martin, one of the group’s organisers.
“They provide opportunities to do homework, improve computer skills, to find out about family and local history, to chat about books, films and events.
“Our library was a social hub that supported families and reduced the isolation of many elderly people in the Bay.
“It was run by friendly informed staff, and we want it back bigger and better than before. Expecting more than 40,000 people to rely on a library housed in a small shop unit in Langney Centre simply will not do.”
The pub is due to go to auction at the Brighton Metropole on December 15 with the freehold expected to sell for more than £350,000.
The property is among a number of plots being sold by Clive Emson Auctioneers.
Director and Senior Auction Valuer Sam Kinloch said, “Previously let to provide a good income, The Beach Tavern, now in need of some refurbishment and redecoration, is considered ideal for owner-occupation or could again be let to provide a good income.
“Alternatively, the site could be redeveloped to provide residential accommodation or a supermarket or other commercial use, subject to the necessary consents being obtained.”
The Friends of Pevensey Library is currently meeting to plan a fund-raising strategy and asks anyone who wants to become involved with the campaign to contact the group on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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