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

Tesco in Brundall: Why are so many pubs becoming supermarkets?

Thursday, December 20, 2012
7.00 AM

Campaigners today accused Tesco of targeting pubs for Express stores, amid opposition to the supermarket’s plans to move into Brundall.

The chain hopes to open a store in the Ram pub on The Street, and through the pub’s owners, Enterpise Inns, has asked Broadland District Council about reviving a planning application, granted in 1993, for an extension on the building.

A poll on the Evening News’ website showed 69pc of people were against Tesco coming to the Broads village, with 29pc in favour.

Graham Freeman, chairman of the Norwich and Norfolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), said: “The Ram is a viable pub with real ale, but this is something we are seeing all around the country.”

Over 200 pubs in Britain have been converted into supermarkets since January 2010, including The Firs in Hellesdon, according to figures from Camra.

The pubs are attractive to supermarkets because they often come with car parking and need little if any planning permission to convert into a shop.

But a Tesco spokesman denied they had a policy of targeting pubs.

He said: “When we do convert pubs into Express stores we bring back to life a building that would otherwise remain derelict.”

Enterprise Inns said: “Our preference is that our sites trade as pubs. However from time to time we identify a pub which is unable to deliver an appropriate level of sustainable income. We then carefully review what alternative solutions are available for that site.”

Readers have been leaving their comments on our website.

Darren Mallett said: “The traffic is bad enough around the church.

“Can you imagine what it will be like with a Tesco Express and constant traffic, delivery vehicles from early morning to late at night?”

But Rushee said: “Go for it Tesco as Budgens has had the cream in Brundall for years, now it might have to share it with Tesco.”

Peter Waller said: “Why this hatred of Tesco? We have the same ‘anti’ faction at Pakefield in Lowestoft, pointless.”