Langney Shopping Centre has now been closed for one month, and while there is still no news on its future, a meeting has been organised for traders.
The roof of the centre caved in during the early hours of December 20 leaving a 17 ft square hole in the roof. It was deemed ‘dangerous’ by the council’s Building Control department and has been closed ever since.
Paul Dunstall at Building Control said it would have caused ‘many fatalities’ if it had happened during the day and while the community is grateful there was no loss of life, many are suffering as a result of the closure.
Businesses have been among the worst affected and Langney Shopping Centre’s independent traders were meeting yesterday evening (January 17) to discuss the continuing situation.
Before the meeting was due to take place, Lisa Scott, who runs Prom Boutique in the centre, spoke to the Herald about having to run her business from home.
Lisa said, “All of the dresses are in my mum’s lounge. It is certainly not ideal but we are managing.
“We are missing out on all that passing trade and we have advertised Langney Shopping Centre, so it is difficult now we are not there as we are relying on people to find us online.”
However, Lisa reassured all customers that their orders would still be on time and added, “People just have to come to the house now for their fittings and collections.”
Everything is being run from the 28-year-old mum’s home in Royal Parade and people can get in touch with Lisa by calling 07706889124.
Langney Councillor Alan Shuttleworth was to attend the meeting due to take place last night, after the Herald went to press.
He said, “The independent businesses and market traders are really suffering and it is crucial that they are kept fully informed by the centre owners.”
Stephen Lloyd and Councillor Shuttleworth have been in regular contact with the centre owners and managers and are pressing for assessments to be completed as a matter of urgency. So far, the owners have refused to comment to the Herald on the future of the centre.
Alan Shuttleworth added, “Langney Shopping Centre is the hub of the community. Langney people are feeling the huge loss of this amenity. There are discussions taking place with a view to getting some trading around the Centre as soon as possible. As soon as the cause of the accident can be established and the debris safely removed from the building Langney people would like to see a speedy response to getting reconstruction work started on the building.”
A Facebook group has been set up called ‘SAVE Langney Shopping Centre’. It has got more than 1,000 likes from local people in just a week.