Anger to turn Sheffield pub into a shop

General view  of Blue Bell pub, Main Street, Hackenthorpe, 4/11/12
General view of Blue Bell pub, Main Street, Hackenthorpe, 4/11/12
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PLANS to turn a disused pub into a convenience store are causing controversy in Hackenthorpe.

The Blue Bell, Main Street, closed earlier in the year when the landlord surrendered its licence after problems with anti-social behaviour.

About 60 people have signed a petition organised by the Spar shop, on nearby Birley Spa Lane, against the planned convenience store.

It says: “The premises are on a small road with little parking and double yellow lines outside.

“The extra parking from customers and delivery traffic will create a nuisance until late night for residents and businesses in the area and also be a safety issue with pedestrians.

“Underage drinking has been a problem in the area and this application will only exacerbate this.”

Patrick Moon, Spar shop owner, said: “We set up the petition after customers were saying they weren’t keen on the idea of the pub being turned into a shop.

“The application will bring nothing new to the area and we are already suffering competition from Crystal Peaks shopping centre.

However, other people in the area were more positive about the plans, because they will bring the empty building back into use.

Stephen Parkin, licensee at the neighbouring Sportsman Inn, said: “I can understand the point of view of people who want to see the building brought back into use and also the Spar owner’s petition.

“However, I was always led to believe competition cannot be used as a reason to refuse a planning application.”

Coun Chris Rosling-Josephs, Sheffield Council Labour member for Beighton ward, which includes the area, said: “I’m happy it is not a pub any more, because there were a lot of problems with anti-social behaviour.

“However, I think that rather than having a derelict building, it is better to have a facility that serves the community.”

The petition will be submitted to Sheffield Council before it rules on the application.