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People power hailed as Tesco shelve bid to convert historic Lowestoft hotel

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 July 2015 | UPDATED: 09:48 25 July 2015

Campaigners celebrate at the Tramway Hotel.

Campaigners celebrate at the Tramway Hotel.

©archant2015

“People power won the day” – that was the reaction of campaigners after supermarket giant Tesco finally backed down in its attempt to take over a historic Lowestoft hotel.

The statement from Tesco..The statement from Tesco..

In what has been billed as a David versus Goliath-style battle, people in Pakefield fought tooth and nail against a proposal to convert the Tramway Hotel into a Tesco Express.

Since Tesco announced its plans in October 2012, demonstrations and public meetings have been held, more than 2,000 signatures were gathered on petitions and the Pakefield Opposing Tesco campaign group was formed to save the building.

And this week, campaigners were toasting victory in the popular Pakefield pub and hotel after Tesco shelved its plans, with a spokesman saying: “We have made the difficult decision not to proceed with plans for a new store.”

John Ward, secretary of Pakefield Opposing Tesco, said: “As far as I am concerned, with the Tramway Hotel dating back to 1904, we did manage to save an iconic pub.

The historic Tramway Hotel.The historic Tramway Hotel.

“It would have been a disaster if Tesco did come in.

“Proudly, the Pakefield community can finally take a big sigh of relief.

“It can only be seen as a major victory, and a well-deserved reward for what has been a long battle.”

Sonia Barker, leader of the Labour group on Waveney District Council, and Suffolk county councillor for Pakefield, added: “This is a really important day for Pakefield. This is just amazing – a true sign of people power.”

Got a Lowestoft story? Email mark.boggis@archant.co.uk


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