Renovation work has started on a village pub which has been branded an ‘eyesore’ after being left empty for nearly four years.
Residents in Lindfield are concerned for the future of The White Horse in Lindfield High Street after, they said, it had recently fallen into disrepair.
Many have taken to social media to express their fears for the future of the building.
Planning permission was granted three years ago by Mid Sussex District Council for the White Horse to be converted into an Indian restaurant.
But residents say nothing has happened on the conversion for some time.
One man on the website streetlife.com said: “Neighbouring properties must be thrilled to bits with the tip-like appearance of this High Street landmark - not good for the image of the village at all.”
But this week builders were reported back working on the pub site.
A spokesman for Lindfield Parish Council said that work had been ‘stop start’ since planning permission had been given for it to be turned into a restaurant.
“We don’t know when it will be finished,” he said.
Meanwhile, the parish council has registered the White Horse as an ‘asset of community value’ so that if the building is sold the community would have an opportunity to acquire it.
The move followed previous rumours that the pub might be converted into a convenience store.
Mid Sussex District Councillor Andrew MacNaughton, cabinet member for planning, said: “Our planning enforcement team spoke with the owner of the White Horse last week and he has made it clear that he does intend to complete the development.”