‘Ghost town’ Selsey is ‘dying on its feet’

Empty and closing-down shops in High Street, Selsey
Empty and closing-down shops in High Street, Selsey

Selsey is ‘dying on its feet’, according to the town’s residents.

Online shopping and the new Asda development has been blamed for the ‘ghost town’ feel to the High Street, and many are asking: ‘where is the regeneration for Selsey?’

Nevertheless, new refurbishment plans are in the making to transform the iconic Selsey Pavilion back into a cinema and theatre, and proposals for a new restaurant on the High Street are also on the cards.

So is Selsey really ‘dying’? Or is it rising from the ashes?

Ian Page, 65, who has lived in Selsey since 1963, said: “Selsey is dying on its feet, there’s so many empty shops now and no one seems to be doing anything about it.

“When I moved here in 1963 it was a vibrant place, there were lots of different shops and four or five petrol stations. The only thing that’s really been built since I’ve been here is houses and flats with absolutely no infrastructure.

“They are talking about spending millions in Chichester, but where is the regeneration for Selsey?

“Loads of shops have closed and been left empty for ages and lots more have closing signs.

“When they finish building Asda outside Selsey it’s going to kill the town completely.”

Mr Page added: “After 3pm it’s a ghost town, you could fire a machine gun down Selsey High Street and not hit anyone.”

One fruit and vegetables shop keeper on the High Street, who asked not to be named, said: “It really is scary how many empty shops there are.

“A lot of people are doing online shopping now, so less people go into town.

“A lot of shop keepers are also concerned about the Asda that’s being built, I know a few who haven’t renewed their leases because of it.”

Carrie Knight, owner of Carol’s Interiors on the High Street, said she is planning to sell her shop as it ‘isn’t making money’.

She said: “Supermarkets are doing so much now, once upon a time you only bought food but now you can get all sorts.

“I think that’s part of the reason for independent stores going out of business, as well as online shopping.

“It is a shame because independent shops is where you find the most interesting things.

However, butcher Mark Seale disagreed, stating that he thought the new supermarket would benefit the town.

“I think for a certain type of business it is difficult in Selsey but we seem to be fine,” Mr Seale said.

“I personally think that the new Asda will bring more business and footfall to the area.”