Supermarket giant Tesco hopes to move into a Broads village by taking over a pub.

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The chain wants to turn the Ram pub in Brundall into a Tesco Express store and hopes to revive a 20-year-old planning application as part of the move.

The pub’s owners, Enterprise Inns and Tesco first approached Broadland District Council at the start of December.

They are now talking to the legal branch of Norfolk County Council - NP Law - about whether the planning application from 1993, which was for an extension on the pub, could be revived.

The extension was never built.

The potential move to the village has sparked fears among shop owners.

Andrew Bevan, from Brundall Pet and Hardware, said: “As a retailer I’m concerned.

“I think it would have a negative effect on the village.

“Any loss of the pub would also be a major concern.”

And Jinx Hundal, 36, who owns the Budgens in Brundall, said he was “disturbed” by the news.

“We are quite a close-knit village,” he said. “This couldn’t have hit us between the eyes at a worse time.”

Brundall firms held their first meeting to set up a business forum two weeks ago to discuss how they could work together with no knowledge of Tesco’s plans.

Mr Hundal said he feared customers would be drawn away from the parade of village shops in The Street towards the Tesco store.

But a spokesman for the supermarket said: “‘Our Tesco Express convenience stores are extremely popular with customers and communities.

“We have shown an interest in the Ram pub but this is very early in the process and no firm or final decision has been made.

“We will keep the community updated as we move forward.”

A spokeswoman for Enterprise Inns said the company was “reviewing its options” for the Ram but no decision over leasing it to Tesco had been made.

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