Henfield’s filling station is set to be open for business by this summer as workmen move onto the site after nearly three years of closure.
This comes as a relief to many village traders and residents who believe the Shell station’s absence has affected local businesses and left the surrounding area looking ‘dismal’.
Henfield parish councillor Mike Morgan believes the filling station will be a ‘welcome boost’ to the village economy.
He said: “We’re all pleased that work is finally under way there.
“It’s been a pain not having a petrol station locally and it used to be a valuable asset to the village.
“Prices at Shell were very competitive and the mini store there was a help to the elderly people living near by.”
Shell had previously released a statement explaining that pollution underground had caused the delay.
Mike Beardall, chairman of Henfield Enterprise (Chamber of Trade and Commerce), is less optimistic about the development.
He said: “They said they’ve been dealing with the pollution from ancient petrol tanks, so people are having to travel further afield for their fuel.
“That part of the village used to be thriving, but the footfall in the High Street has been down.
“Now it’s looking dismal and Shell has been dragging its feet.”
Parish council chairman Ray Osgood explained that currently Shell are undergoing work to put in place a temporary access road for drivers, re-routing existing sewers and removing the old underground fuel tanks.
“The community would like to see the station back in place as soon as possible,” Mr Osgood said.
The new filling station is expected to be open for business this summer.
The County Times approached Shell, but at the time of going to press had not received a comment.