Campaigners opposing a plan to convert a Sheffield pub into a shop have outlined their vision of turning the site into a visitor centre for the world’s oldest football ground.
Sainsbury’s is drawing up proposals to turn The Plough – opposite Hallam FC at Sandygate – into one of its Local convenience stores.
The pub, which closed in April after a decline in trade, was declared an ‘asset of community value’ by Sheffield Council after a campaign by supporters last year, when fears The Plough could become a shop first began.
Assets cannot be demolished or converted without permission, and residents are given six months to bid to buy property up for sale.
Peter Duff, from the Save The Plough group, said a campaign meeting in Crosspool was well-attended, and that a decision was made to ‘sell an alternative vision linked to 200 years of sporting history in the area’.
“The cricket and football grounds fall within the property title of The Plough.
“We believe we could develop The Plough as both a pub and museum/visitor centre for the world’s oldest football ground – turning it into a tourist destination which would bring visitors and money into local shops, bars and restaurants rather than putting money into Sainsbury’s pockets.”
Campaigners will also be pressing the council to use the pub’s ‘asset’ status as a ‘material consideration’ in any planning decision, as well as launching a further petition.
A new Sainsbury’s Local opened this week on Wortley Road, High Green – the site of the old Cart and Horses pub. A Government planning inspector gave the go-ahead in 2014 after controversy.
l The Castle Inn at Bradway has been listed as a community asset by the council after another application by the Sheffield branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.