Tesco urged to drop pub plans

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 September 2012

Community members outside the Bristol House

Community members outside the Bristol House

Mark Thyer

THE fight to stop Tesco developing the site of a former community pub has intensified after a campaigning group entered the fray.

The Bristol and District CAMRA Pubs Campaigning Group has written to the supermarket giant to ask it to ditch plans to turn the Bristol House pub into a Tesco Express store.

The Mercury first reported last month that the pub in Milton Road was closed by owners Enterprise Inns, with Tesco set to make an offer to buy the site.

The move has provoked an angry reaction among residents living around the pub and a petition against the move now has more than 2,000 signatures.

In a letter to Tesco, CAMRA group chairman Peter Bridle implored the retail giant to scrap its takeover scheme, describing the pub as a ‘focal point for the local community’.

He continued: “The situation regarding the Bristol House, which has been a pub since the 1930s, is a real concern. There is clearly a lot of support for this pub. It is a focal point for the local community and it is popular with all ages.

“This is reflected in the very high number of people who have signed the petition to save the pub.

“We urge Tesco to drop any thoughts of converting the pub to a store and Enterprise Inns to reopen as a pub or sell it as a going concern as soon as possible.”

He also asked Tesco to stop converting pubs across the region into stores, adding:

“Many of these pubs are viable and have been at the heart of their communities for many years. Tesco risks alienating many people with these conversions. Some people suggest that these pubs must be unviable or they would not be sold.

“We have already lost a substantial number of good pubs and it is time to call a halt to these conversions.”

The group fighting to keep Tesco out of the building is holding a public meeting tonight (Thurs) at the Vintage Community Church in Hughenden Road at 7.30pm.

Representatives of both Tesco and Enterprise Inns have been invited to attend.

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