The Millhouse pub in Thorpe St Andrew which has closed.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Poll: Would you welcome a Co-op store at boarded-up pub site in Thorpe St Andrew?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
4.28 PM

Another of our local pubs could be turned into a supermarket this year.

There has been speculation that the Millhouse, off Laundry Lane, in Thorpe St Andrew, which has been boarded up, had its car park fenced off and had ‘sold’ signs put up, is to become a Co-op store.

The Norwich Evening News contacted the East of England Co-op for a response and Amanda Long, executive officer for membership, marketing and media, would not directly confirm the company was taking over the site. She said: “As the region’s largest independent ethical retailer we are looking to invest in and expand our offering of stores and services across the East of England. We are looking to invest in opportunities in Norfolk, which is an expansion area for us.”

In 2011, Tesco converted The Firs pub in Hellesdon into one of its Express stores and Tesco is also currently negotiating to do the same with The Ram pub in Brundall.

Ian Mackie, county councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, said he would rather the site was used for something than be allowed to become derelict.

Streetlife reaction

The prospect of a Co-op store at The Millhouse pub site has sparked plenty of debate among users of www.streetlife.com

The sister website of www.edp24.co.uk and www.eveningnews24.co.uk offers people the opportunity to discuss local issues with other people living in their area. Here are a selection of comments from the debate.

Mr S

The junction is bad enough now especially when school comes out. Imagine it being like that most of the day, seven days a week.

Kharma666

Why would they put a Co-op there when Sainsbury’s is just down the road?

Victoria H

I think a Co-op convenience store would be good. I wouldn’t always feel like walking a mile to Sainsbury’s.

Gerry S

Right now nobody can tell how much traffic a convenience store on the site could generate but it most certainly would be significant.

Jo G

I would like to see a McDonald’s. It’s about time we had one this side of the city and if the traffic can be managed right it could be better than it is now.

He added: “Thriving shopping centres support thriving communities, but we need to be mindful of the traffic flow towards St Williams Way. That can be investigated if any plans come forward though, so overall I would welcome Co-op at this site.”

Property agents Roche had been advertising the freehold sale of the pub and its 0.68-acre site, including parking space for 44 cars, for £350,000 – with offers conditional on planning also being considered.

Originally built in 1961 by Norwich brewery Bullards, the pub was named The Lord Mancroft up until 1995, when it was rebranded as The Millhouse.

John Fisher, district councillor for Thorpe St Andrew North West, also cautiously welcomed the potential for Co-op to take over the site but bemoaned the loss of a local pub.

Mr Fisher said: “When it was a pub it supported local football teams and quiz nights.

“If it is going to be a Co-op store then it is to be welcomed, rather than standing empty.”

- Would you welcome the Co-op store on The Millhouse pub site? Leave your comments below or join the conversation at www.streetlife.com

- Alternatively you can contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk