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Brundall votes against Tesco coming to village

PUBLISHED: 09:35 14 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:40 14 January 2013

Around 200 people packed into the hall. Photo: Steve Adams

Around 200 people packed into the hall. Photo: Steve Adams

Campaigners hope to use a special law to try to stop a village pub from becoming a Tesco store.

The supermarket chain wants to turn the Ram pub in Brundall into an Express store.

But the village’s parish council has started proceedings to get the building listed as a community asset.

If listed as a community asset by Broadland District Council, the parish council will be given time to come up with its own bid for the pub if it is sold.

It would mean Tesco’s plans to take over the site could be delayed and even scuppered.

The parish council has applied for the listing under the 2011 Localism Act and, if approved, it would be the first time the law has been used in Broadland, since the scheme started in September 2012.

At a meeting called to discuss Tesco’s plans on Saturday afternoon, about 300 villagers expressed their concerns about the loss of the pub.

Leader of Broadland District Council Andrew Proctor, who is backing the campaign, told the meeting: “This is all about keeping a community asset.

“It is important in the village.”

About 1,700 people in Brundall have signed a petition which asked for views on Enterprise Inn’s plans to lease the building to Tesco.

And 90pc of the responses have come out against the supermarket.

Villagers at the meeting raised concerns about traffic around the site and the impact on shops in Brundall’s centre.

Enterprise Inn’s was also criticised for not investing enough money in the pub.

Steve Hess said: “They have not spent a penny on maintenance.

“They are stopping it from doing what it is intended to do.”

In a show of hands among the 300 people at the meeting in Brundall’s Memorial Hall, all voted for saving the pub.

Enterprise Inns who own the Ram have asked Broadland District Council about reviving a planning application approved in 1993 for an extension to the pub.

The council has until the end of January to respond and are currently seeking legal advice about whether the application is still relevant or not.

Enterprise said it aimed to run its properties as pubs but it was reviewing its options for the Ram.

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