Campaigners against Tesco’s bid for Tramway Hotel in Pakefield want building to become a community asset

The Tramway Hotel and Pub in Pakefield which could be turned into a Tesco Express. The Tramway Hotel and Pub in Pakefield which could be turned into a Tesco Express.

Saturday, February 8, 2014
4:14 PM

Campaigners against plans to open a fourth Tesco store in the Lowestoft area have agreed to step up their campaign by submitting an application to turn the Tramway Hotel and Pub in Pakefield into a community asset.

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The move follows a meeting of the Pakefield Opposing Tesco (POT) group this morning where it was decided that in order to protect the landmark building from being turned into a Tesco Express, an application should be submitted to Waveney District Council to prove that the building is an asset of community value.

One resident said: “I feel that with a bit of management and a facelift the Tramways could be part of the community again.

“If we apply to turn it into a community asset then we’ve got six months to come up with a plan and think about what we want to do with it.”

The application by Tesco Stores Ltd to extend the Victorian pub in London Road, was due to be voted on by Waveney District Council in January, but a decision has now been deferred until March 18, to give councillors time for a site visit and to allow a traffic assessment to be conducted.

The meeting, chaired by Bob Blizzard, chairman of POT and Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Waveney, was attended by more than 130 residents who fear that the creation of a Tesco Express will increase traffic and noise problems and take trade away from the existing shops who have served the community for a number of years.

However last month the district council’s development control committee was told by planning officers that the two single-storey rear extensions should be approved, and that Tesco does not need change of use planning permission to convert the pub into a store because it is not a hotel.

Mr Blizzard said: “This is what I now see as a three step campaign. We have to succeed in getting the council to insist that Tesco needs to apply for change of use. We need to stop the immediate application for extensions to the building to facilitate it being a shop, and if Tesco does have to apply for change of use we need to make sure that the council turns it down.

“We all know that the Tramway is a hotel. It opened as a hotel in the beginning of the 20th Century, it has always been advertised as a hotel and it says it is a hotel about five times on various parts of the building. At the very least it is a mixed use of guest house and a pub and the law is very clear on that guest houses have to have planning permission to turn into a shop.”

As well as applying to turn the building into a community asset, residents have volunteered to carry out their own traffic survey and will be working with an expert in measuring sound to determine the impact the shop would have on noise levels.

Mr Blizzard added: “It is important to present real evidence that we can collect locally.

“This is a spontaneous and genuinely felt campaign and if we can keep going like this, gathering more momentum and getting more and more people on board, spreading the word and putting up posters, then it’s looking like we will succeed.”

15 comments

  • The Tesco store in sheringham is a great asset to the town and that took 13 years I believe.

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    samphirelover

    Saturday, February 8, 2014

  • @NorfolkJohn...please check your facts about what constitutes a community asset...and investigate how successful other communities have done wonderful things with projects like this. Perhaps you could lend your support to this venture by joining the Community Group who want to put a bid in, rather than knocking democracy in action? If you have been following this campaign you will be aware that over 2500 people signed the petition opposing this...that is a lot of local residents!

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    Dogberry

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

  • A tatty, unviable old pub – not much of a community asset! I expect that most local residents would rather have the community asset of a Tesco on their doorstep.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

  • Afraid not Vinny talks with enterprise have already started, watch this space

    Report this comment

    Huddersfieldman

    Saturday, February 8, 2014

  • I wonder how many of the negative and undemocratic commentators on this article were at the meeting yesterday , because if you were you would have heard one our local councillors stating that this is an issue beyond politics, other than the fact that it shows "Localism" in a very poor light! You may want to slander Bob, but at least he's showing support for this local community...a very telling question was asked at the meeting about the lack of any input from our M.P. Also, if you had bothered to attend the meeting, rather than sniping sarcastically via this web-page, you would have heard it made very clear by one of the speakers - John - that he had been investigating in depth the possibilities and procedures for taking on The Tramways as a Community Asset...and it would be a very realistic proposal. Next meeting Peter Waller and VinnyP please come along and put your views. If they are truly valid you will get a good hearing I'm sure! As for Tea and Biscuits...it's not used over much because it needs a radical change...cafédrop-in centremeeting roomsmini-branch libraryPolice OfficeCAB info ...just use your imagination - Pakefield is not blessed with a Community Centre - what a challenge to achieve this - or is this too much for the whingers?lol

    Report this comment

    Dogberry

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

  • What does community asset mean? A bit like the old Gorleston Road school, that still got knocked down? If as a pub and be fair a b&b is viable leave it alone, I don't think we need another community style building if that is the proposal that is protentialy going to be under used

    Report this comment

    Shepie

    Monday, February 10, 2014

  • Oh no here we go again. For gods sake TESCO hurry up and get permission to build the express store so that the POT can go talk about something else. What will they come up with next. What else can it be. If it became a community building surely they will have the same problem with planning and traffic etc. Also I can really see POT coming up with the money to buy the building as the owners want to sell it to Tesco I can't see them selling it to bunch of residents can you.

    Report this comment

    vinny.p

    Saturday, February 8, 2014

  • A few points to bear in mind: listing a property as a community asset will in no way prevent Tesco from taking the property as they are not buying it, they are taking a lease; the property is a pub, not a hotel - as evidenced by independent legal advice which the council had already sought; putting pressure on the council to break the law (planning law), incur extra costs and act unreasonably and with bias is simply not acceptable. Maybe the pressure will put Tesco off, if not then I'm not sure if there is any proper basis to the objections.

    Report this comment

    Jay

    Monday, February 10, 2014

  • If it is easy for POT to prove it's an asset of community value, I assume the community would have been already using it. However it's hardly used, hence why Enterprise are willing to lease it to Tesco. It just looks like the anti-Tesco brigade are getting desperate and have run out of realistic options. Even if they can secure the lease on the building, how will it pay its way day by day? What about maintenance, rates, utilities? Also isn't the argument that there isn't enough parking for a store? So how would it work as a community asset? Pedestrians only? As for Blizzard giving the campaign credibility, unfortunately he's a politician, so is only interested in how many voters it gains him.

    Report this comment

    Tea&Biscuits

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

  • POTty!! Does POT really think that it can outbid Tesco AND offer financial security to Enterprise?

    Report this comment

    peter waller

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

  • Pathetic, and no great credit to Bob Blizzard in that he is supporting this nonsense.

    Report this comment

    peter waller

    Saturday, February 8, 2014

  • The planners have strike a balance between keeping areas viable for those who do not have a car and cant reach the out of town stores and retaining buildings of significance so that they can serve some purpose other than selling groceries I read just the other day that The Iron Duke on the sea front at North Denes ( a fine example of seaside architecture from the late 30s early 40s ) has been standing empty for years because it has been bought by Haven Holidays and kept disused so it does not compete with their on site concessions and bars. Now this is good building which could have remained a pub for locals and holiday makers, or been a restaurant with smashing views out to sea from the first floor or even a fast food outlet. Presumably ( one hopes) it is a listed building but at present it is of no use to the people who live near by because, it seems, of the greed of a national company. Councils and planners should be able to pressure businesses into making use of premises in a way that best serves a town-they have been doing it with residential properties.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

  • 'over 2500 people signed the petition opposing this...that is a lot of local residents!' But just how many were just mindlessly jumping on the usual 'knock Tesco' bandwagon that inevitably springs up when Tesco heads to town. Petition forms were distributed across Lowestoft and even Oulton Broad, hardly all local to Pakefield. At least I can claim that my family, Colby, were for generations Pakefield folk. They would probably still be there, if half of Pakefield hadn't gone over the cliff.

    Report this comment

    peter waller

    Monday, February 10, 2014

  • Tesco are not buying, but constructive talks are underway

    Report this comment

    Huddersfieldman

    Saturday, February 8, 2014

  • I wonder how many of the negative and undemocratic commentators on this article were at the meeting yesterday , because if you were you would have heard one our local councillors stating that this is an issue beyond politics, other than the fact that it shows "Localism" in a very poor light! You may want to slander Bob, but at least he's showing support for this local community...a very telling question was asked at the meeting about the lack of any input from our M.P. Also, if you had bothered to attend the meeting, rather than sniping sarcastically via this web-page, you would have heard it made very clear by one of the speakers - John - that he had been investigating in depth the possibilities and procedures for taking on The Tramways as a Community Asset...and it would be a very realistic proposal. Next meeting Peter Waller and VinnyP please come along and put your views. If they are truly valid you will get a good hearing I'm sure! As for Tea and Biscuits...it's not used over much because it needs a radical change...cafédrop-in centremeeting roomsmini-branch libraryPolice OfficeCAB info ...just use your imagination - Pakefield is not blessed with a Community Centre - what a challenge to achieve this - or is this too much for the whingers?lol

    Report this comment

    Dogberry

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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