A brewery’s plan to convert a pub into a convenience store has been given the go-ahead to the dismay of people who campaigned against it.
Rutland County Council has granted permission for Everards to turn the Horseshoe Inn in Braunston Road, Oakham, into a shop despite a petition against the proposal which attracted more than 600 signatures.
The brewery submitted the application because it said the pub was “no longer viable” after a fall in trade in recent years.
However, many residents in the area voiced their support for the pub and a petition was launched by Briars Mini Market in Churchill Road, just around the corner from the pub.
Devinder Gill, who owns the shop with her husband Inderjit, was greatly disappointed by the council’s decision and said it felt like the community’s views had not been taken into account.
She said: “The fact that we had more than 600 residents sign our petition speaks volumes about how much the community supports the pub.
“We feel like our views have been totally disregarded and we would like to know why?
“Surely the council should be listening to the views of the people who live in the community.
“It’s a popular pub and many locals have said we don’t need another convenience store in this part of town.”
The petition also gained support from the Rutland branch of real ale campaign group Camra.
Chairman Jon Whowell said: “I’m disappointed that the councillors have decided to close what was a community asset.
“It’s always a shame when a pub goes and I hope the councillors don’t regret their decision.”
Councillors approved the plan at a development control and licensing committee meeting on Tuesday after officers recommended it go-ahead.
Three people wrote to the council in support of the plan, saying it would enhance the area.
Eight letters of objection were received with concerns including the loss of a pub, anti-social behaviour and the impact the store would have on existing shops.
Landlords Paula and Iain Reeve took over the running of the pub in April and it is still trading. They had hoped to carry out refurbishment work and make the venue a more family-friendly pub.
They did not want to comment on the latest news.
Everards said the development would create about 25 jobs. The brewery’s application for change of use was approved as well as a single storey extension to the front of the building.
The approval includes conditions that the hours of trade must only be between 7am and 11pm, and that work should begin within the next three years.
JD Wetherspoon’s planning application to open a pub in the former Royal British Legion building in High Street, Oakham, was given the green light by councillors at Tuesday’s meeting.
The £1.8m development will create 35 part-time and 15 full-time jobs.
The pub is set to be called The Captain Noel Newton who was a former Rutland High Sheriff who lived in the building before he sold it to the legion for £1,600 between 1948 and 1950.