The Ram pub at Brundall which Tesco wants to turn into an Express store. Picture: Denise Bradley

Round one to Brundall campaigners in bid to stop Tesco store replacing pub

Saturday, February 23, 2013
11.39 AM

Campaigners are celebrating an early victory in their battle to stop a Tesco store opening in a Broads village.

The supermarket chain hoped to take over the Ram pub in Brundall by using a planning application which was granted in 1993 for an extension to the building.

Enterprise Inns who own the site applied to Broadland District Council revive the old planning application, but on Tuesday it was refused.

Broadland Council leader Andrew Proctor who has campaigned against the Ram’s closure welcomed the decision.

“If the application had been allowed they could have gone in and built the extension,” he said. “It means that now they would have to put in a full application. It is the first hurdle.”

Brundall Parish Council has also applied to the council to list the pub as a community asset which would give them priority to lease or buy it if it was put up for sale by Enterprise Inns.

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

If approved on March 5, it would be the first time the law has been used in Broadland, since the community asset scheme started in September 2012.

John Wake from campaign group Stand Up For Brundall which opposed the application from Tesco said: “We are taking each stage as it comes and still planning ahead.

“It is looking more promising. It’s not just about Tesco. It is about losing the pub.”

In a letter to Tesco’s planning agents, the council’s head of planning Phil Courtier outlined their reasons for the refusal.

He said the applicant had “failed to provide satisfactory information” that the single storey extension would be lawful.

Mr Courtier added that there was also a lack of information to show that the car park would be built along the lines of the old planning application.

A spokesman for Tesco said: “We are naturally disappointed that this decision has been made. We will now review our options.”

Enterprise and Tesco will now decide whether to appeal the decision or to put in a new planning application.

A spokeswoman for the pub chain said: “We are currently reviewing all our options for the Ram Inn but no decision has been made at this stage.”

In January around 300 people attended a meeting in Brundall Village Hall to show their support for the campaign to stop the loss of the pub and hundreds of people have signed a petition against Tesco’s plans.