Tesco to convert Duke of Wellington pub in Blythe Bridge into supermarket
SUPERMARKET giant Tesco has been allowed to extend a former pub so it can be turned it into a store.
Residents in Blythe Bridge had opposed plans to turn the Duke of Wellington into a Tesco Express.
But the company did not need permission from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to change the use of the building, merely to extend it and install plant equipment.
Yesterday councillors gave permission for the alterations, despite residents’ opposition.
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Kath Salt, who has lived in Blythe Bridge for 25 years, spoke against the application at the planning committee meeting at Moorlands House.
She said: “We already have a Co-op and a Spar shop, why do we want more of the same?
“Tesco Express wants to use a refrigeration plant and air conditioning unit. The noise from these will be a nuisance for nearby residents.
“What about other local businesses? Who will protect them?”
The council received 90 letters, and petitions signed by 460 people, opposing the plans. Reasons included concerns about traffic problems on the busy Uttoxeter Road, nuisance caused by deliveries to the store and a desire to keep the building as a pub.
The Tesco Express store, which will open from 6am until 11pm, will create 20 jobs.
Jonathan Simpson, representing Tesco, said deliveries would not take place before 10am or after 9pm, and there would be no deliveries between 2.30pm and 7pm in order to avoid busy traffic.
Punch Taverns, which owns the pub, said it had not been able to secure a viable tenant and trade was struggling.
Planning committee members said there were no reasons to refuse the application that would be in line with planning policy.
Conservative councillor for Cheddleton, Mike Worthington, said: “The community is very well served and I’m at a loss as to why Tesco wants to go there, but out of all the reasons for refusal there’s not a single one that would stand up at an appeal.
“All they need is permission for the extension at the back.”
Julie Bull, Independent councillor for Cheadle North East, said: “I would like to support the people who are objecting to the store, but this application is not for the store.
“It’s purely for the extension and the plant equipment.”
Ron Locker, Moorlands Democratic alliance councillor for Cheadle West, said: “I can’t find a reason to turn it down, but I feel very strongly that these sorts of stores are going to pop up all over the Moorlands, and they are not going to help local communities.”