LOCALS still in the dark about what has happened to a favourite chippy will be relieved to hear that there are potential moves to reopen the premises.

Smarts Fish and Chip shop in Woodstock mysteriously closed after owners put a sign up earlier in the year saying they were away on holiday – and then did not appear to return.

Within the past few weeks, the Oxford Street venue was served a High Court repossession notice – stuck on the shop window – which read: “Please note we have taken possession of the property.

“Any attempt of re entry of the said property is an offence and proceedings will be taken for trespass and criminal damage.”

Now HMG Law, the solicitors supporting the owners, have said: “The owners of 47 Oxford Street are undertaking some repair and redecoration works to the premises.

“They are in negotiation with various parties with a view to the premises re-opening in the near future.”

The company did not elaborate further.

Woodstock resident Katherine Payne said: “It shut totally unexpectedly with no warning whatsoever.

“It's miles to any other fish and chip and this one has been open for decades – it’s like a Woodstock institution.

“It would be nice to know what’s actually going to happen and why they left because we still do not know.

“These latest comments are confusing and unclear.”

For weeks, villagers have been asking what has happened to the fast food venue.

One person on the We Love Woodstock Facebook group asked: “Anyone know what’s going on with the best chip shop in Oxfordshire, Smarts in Woodstock? Seems to be closed, residents are not certain of the reason behind the closure.”

Another replied that it had closed ‘some time ago’, but no one seemed to know the reason.

Now it appears that there could be potential for the venue to change hands, with redecorating likely and reopening possible.

Another local added: “We’re really missing the chippy.”

The high court notice said all enquiries concerning the property should be sent to HMG Law LLP, 126 High Street Oxford, OX1 4DG but did not elaborate any further.

A representative from Smarts’ in Kidlington store did not know why the sister shop had closed. Smarts own a number of chippies across the country.

The shop’s phone line appeared to be disconnected.