"James Bond's" Littlehampton pub under threat

PART of Littlehampton's "proud past" may soon be ancient history, due to plans to turn James Bond's pub into homes.

An application to convert The Marine pub, base of Ian Fleming's World War II 30 Assault Unit (30AU), into four flats and a house has been made to Arun District Council.

Mark Butler, Littlehampton mayor, said: "The news of this planning application, while not a shock, is still a real blow to the town's links with its proud past, as well as the future preservation of the memories contained within the pub.

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"The stories that place could tell '“ of brave men facing imminent danger on secret missions, to the happy homecomings of local fighting men.

"All this could be lost for ever, if this goes through without a nod to the heritage of the building."

Elite force

Fleming, who is said to have based Bond on members of his elite secret intelligence force, is known to have enjoyed a drink with his men at the Selborne Road pub, which has been closed since summer, 2008.

Juliet Nye, curator at the Littlehampton Museum, said the pub had featured in an exhibition that celebrated the town's links with 007.

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"The conversion of the historic site into residential dwellings will result in a huge loss to the town's pride and local heritage, with such an emotive slice of history being lost to future generations."

The developers, though, said that other than the demolition of two modern outhouses, the character of the building would not be lost.

In February last year, just months before it closed, artist Tom Poole was commissioned to paint a new sign for the pub, and ex-30 AU members from across the country came back to their old haunt for the unveiling.

Representations on the application should be made to Arun District Council by October 8.


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