TOWN PUB COULD BE­COME A CO-OP

PLANS SUBMITTED TO DE­MOL­ISH THE CROSS KEYS INN

Coventry Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - > KA­T­RINA CHILVER RE­PORTS:

RE­VISED plans have been submitted to de­mol­ish a Bed­worth pub and turn it into a con­ve­nience store.

As pubs are clos­ing across the coun­try, Bed­worth drinkers have been an­gered by the pro­posal to lose an­other wa­ter­ing hole.

De­vel­op­ers are look­ing to bull­doze the Cross Keys Inn in Goody­ers End Lane and re­place it with a Co-op­er­a­tive food store.

The brew­ery which runs the pub, Daven­ports, say the venue is not mak­ing enough money, but will con­tinue the ten­ancy un­til its fu­ture has been de­cided.

If built, the new de­vel­op­ment is ex­pected to cre­ate 13 full-time and 12 part-time jobs.

In April, res­i­dents were re­lieved when plans to re­place the pub with a su­per­mar­ket were rec­om­mended for re­fusal.

Just be­fore the com­mit­tee meet­ing, the ap­pli­ca­tion was de­ferred to al­low more time for dis­cus­sions to iron out the coun­cil’s con­cerns.

Now the plan is back with amend­ments, in­clud­ing re­mov­ing plans for a sec­ond unit on the site and chang­ing the hours of de­liv­ery.

Jas Singh, who owns Sed­gies newsagents in Heath Road has been co­or­di­nat­ing the cam­paign to stop the clo­sure of the pub. He has raised con­cerns from res­i­dents who see the pub as a key meet­ing place for so­cial gath­er­ings in the town, as well as lo­cal busi­ness own­ers like him­self who fear the new store could af­fect trade.

The pub is said to no longer be vi­able and the mar­ket­ing com­pany said it had been look­ing to find new own­ers but no deal has been reached. Mr Singh dis­agrees with this though.

He said: “Peo­ple in this area are very an­gry about this ap­pli­ca­tion as this will de­prive the com­mu­nity of a much needed so­cial gath­er­ing place.

“Many new houses are to be built in this area and this be­ing the only pub left in this area and for a com­pany to say it’s not vi­able is a com­plete fab­ri­ca­tion, the pub has seen trade dou­ble as the rugby club down the road closed down and its mem­bers moved in here.”

There have been 21 let­ters of ob­jec­tion sent to the coun­cil rais­ing a num­ber of points.

In April, a key is­sue which led to the plan be­ing rec­om­mended for re­fusal was the fact it was claimed that the brew­ery was not given the op­por­tu­nity to buy the pub and that has again been raised in an ob­jec­tion let­ter.

Other con­cerns in­clude the im­pact on high­way safety and park­ing, the site’s close prox- im­ity to a school, the loss of her­itage, loss of com­mu­nity as­set, and the im­pact on lo­cal busi­nesses.

The re­port states that ob­jec­tion com­ments have said that the build­ing, which dates back to 1898, should be re­tained as a his­tor­i­cal as­set.

It said: “Both the Vic­to­rian So­ci­ety and the Bed- worth So­ci­ety state that the build­ing should be con­sid­ered as a non-des­ig­nated her­itage as­set and states; ‘its loss would ir­repara­bly and un­jus­ti­fi­ably harm the char­ac­ter of the lo­cal area’.”

The plan­ning com­mit­tee will make its de­ci­sion at a meet­ing in Nuneaton Town Hall on Tues­day, July 4, at 5pm.

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