1,500 signatures on petition against Tesco taking over pub
PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 August 2012
ABOUT 1,500 people have signed a petition demanding that Weston’s former Bristol House inn be returned to use as a pub.
The Mercury revealed last week that supermarket firm Tesco was in discussions with site owners Enterprise Inns over plans to develop the Milton Road site into an express store.
The pub itself was closed two weeks ago at the behest of Enterprise Inns, and the move has sparked a furious reaction among former pub-goers and nearby residents, with many saying it has deprived the area of a valuable community service.
Within the space of a week the petition to save the building for use as a pub has topped 1,500 signatures and its organisers will soon hand it in to North Somerset Council to pre-empt any planning application to develop the site.
In a letter which will be handed in to the council alongside the petition, campaign organiser Mark Thyer has outlined the concerns of residents and local businesses he has spoken to.
In the letter it says: “The campaign is all about no change of use because there is no need for another convenience store in the immediate area as there are already adequate convenience stores serving the local community.”
It continues: “We also believe there will be problems with increased traffic flow, bad or excessive parking and large delivery vehicles getting in the way, obscuring vision and creating a hazard if this goes ahead.
“Research by Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) shows that local pubs play an integral role throughout the lives of local communities.”
The letter goes on to urge the council to reject any forthcoming plans to change the pub building into a Tesco Express, and demands that the retail giant withdraw proposals to develop on the site.
Mr Thyer added: “This pub has been at the centre of the community since the 1930s, and lots of people who use it will not have a pub within walking distance.
“There are also three convenience stores nearby which a Tesco Express store would affect, shops that offer a great choice of products, services such as paypoint for gas and electric meter charging and even do home deliveries for the elderly and infirm who cannot get to the store and don’t use computers.”
A Tesco spokesman last week confirmed discussions were taking place about the site, but no lease had yet been agreed.
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