Neigh­bour says Co-op bid for pub could at­tract rats

Chain will close North Lane store if plans are ap­proved

Aldershot News & Mail - - FRONT PAGE -

RAT prob­lem and road con­ges­tion will be caused if plans for a su­per­mar­ket to re­place yet another pub in Alder­shot go ahead, neigh­bours have warned.

The He­roes of Lucknow pub in North Lane, which closed in May af­ter Punch Tav­erns sold the build­ing, will be turned into a Co­op­er­a­tive food shop with a 10-space car park if an ap­pli­ca­tion to Rush­moor Bor­ough Coun­cil is suc­cess­ful.

The Co-op re­vealed this week that, if per­mis­sion is granted, it would spell the end for its cur­rent shop in the North Town shop­ping area, with all staff be­ing re­lo­cated to the new, big­ger su­per­mar­ket.

Cur­rent plan­ning pol­icy states that change of use per­mis­sion is not re­quired to turn pubs into su­per­mar­kets and a string of venues have been con­verted through­out Rush­moor and be­yond in re­cent years, prompt­ing a cam­paign by the Cam­paign for Real Ale group.

Be­cause of this, the North Lane plans seek only to add a sin­gle-storey ex­ten­sion to the rear of the build­ing and in­stall an au­to­matic slid­ing door with the cre­ation of a ramp and steps to the front en­trance to al­low for the con­ver­sion.

A re­port sup­port­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion, pre­pared for The Co-op by Wells­field As­soc- iates, states that a need for a con­ve­nience store had been iden­ti­fied to serve res­i­dents in the area.

This is de­spite the re­cent ad­di­tion of a Sains­bury’s Lo­cal in nearby Ash Road, which it­self re­placed the Prince of Wales pub.

In ad­di­tion to the store cur­rently in North Lane, there are other nearby Co-op shops in Queens Road, Vic­to­ria Road and at the junc­tion of Church Road and Lower Farn­ham Road, where the Heron Ho­tel once stood.

A spokesman for the Coop said: “A new larger store on North Lane will al­low us to pro­vide an even bet­ter ser­vice for our cus­tomers.

“It is an ideal lo­ca­tion and we are very con­fi­dent the new store will be an as­set to Alder­shot.

“Should the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion be suc­cess­ful, the ex­ist­ing store in North Lane will re­main open un­til the new store opens, af­ter which it will stop trad­ing.”

The ap­pli­ca­tion was reval­i­dated on Fri­day, af­ter the orig­i­nal ap­pli­ca­tion was made in March, when ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion re­quired by the coun­cil was ob­tained.

Let­ters were sent out to neigh­bours and four mem­bers of the pub­lic of­fered their thoughts. One ar­gued that the road was al­ready a rat run for de­liv­ery lor­ries, which caused ‘un­bear­able noise’ for res­i­dents.

They added: “It sits next to two mini-round­abouts that are al­ready a safety haz­ard, never mind shoppers park­ing in the road plus de­liv­ery lor­ries”.

Another re­spon­dent said if the ex­ist­ing Co-op closed it would make North Town look ‘even more run-down’, while another ar­gued in­creased lit­ter would worsen prob­lems with rats in the area.

Rush­moor Ac­cess Group, which cam­paigns on be­half of those with dis­abil­i­ties in the bor­ough, ques­tioned whether the ac­cess into the new store would be wide enough for wheel­chair users and par­ents with bug­gies.

A de­ci­sion on the plans is ex­pected in Septem­ber.


The for­mer land­lords of the He­roes of Lucknow Pub, Brian and Sylvia Kaup­pila, out­side the North Lane venue, which could be­come a Co-op store if agreed by Rush­moor Bor­ough Coun­cil.

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