Community stands up to Tesco: John Denham calls for more support for local pubs

As part of his campaign to get PubCos to take a more responsible attitude towards struggling pubs, John Denham MP is giving his full backing to one community which is opposing its local pub being turned into a Tesco.

The Castle Pub, in Midanbury, closed last month

The Tory-led government is failing to build on the work John did to get PubCos to take a responsible and sustainable attitude.  That’s why John has joined the local campaign to stop yet another pub, the Castle in Midanbury, from turning into a Tesco Express.  John has given his backing, following an approach by nearby residents and traders at the Midanbury Broadway parade on Witts Hill.

Tesco already have outlets in the surrounding area, including Cobden Avenue (Bitterne Triangle), West End Road (Bitterne) and Wessex Road (Townhill).  According to Tesco’s own store locator, all of these existing Tesco Express outlets are less than a mile away from the proposed outlet at the Castle.

The Winning Post in Peartree Avenue is now a One Stop store

The Castle Pub in Midanbury closed after many years in August 2012.

Local traders have been informed that Enterprise Inns has sold the property to Tesco. The closure of the Castle Pub joins a sadly long list of public houses in Southampton which have closed over recent years.

Several, including the Bulls Eye on Butts Road, Sholing and the Winning Post, Peartree Avenue have been converted into convenience stores.

  • No planning proposals have, to date, come forward to the City Council for alterations to the building.  However, the lack of certainty is causing concern to residents.

    The Bulls Eye, on Butts Road in Sholing

  • Mr Denham was alerted to the issue by correspondence from a number of constituents, and also a meeting where local residents and traders lobbied him about the issue, at one of his local surgeries.
  • Mr Denham receiving the petition and pledging his support forms part of a  larger campaign by residents and traders in the local area, which has seen a petition, street stalls and a delegation to address Southampton City Council on local concern.

Mr Denham attended a community protest meeting at the parade on Friday. He was presented with a petition with hundreds of signatures from the community, calling on Tesco not to open another store on the site of the Castle Pub.

Mr Denham said:

“The community is saying no to pubs being turned into shops.  It is particularly concerning when Tesco already has several outlets in the immediate surrounding area.  It would be dreadful if the competition from Tesco were to damage the parade and mean the loss of local businesses, many of who have been there for many years.

Who knows what the future is for the Chamberlayne Arms on North East Road, Sholing?

“I’m sad every time I see another pub close in Southampton.  The Castle is one of far too many public houses that have closed in the city.  Every time this happens we lose an important hub for the local community.

“The Tory-led government is failing to build on the work I did to get PubCos to take a responsible and sustainable attitude.  In my view it is time this was moved from a voluntary code to a statutory footing.”

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