Sheffield store bid a test of ‘community asset’ protection

The Plough, Sandygate
The Plough, Sandygate
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Opposition is building towards a bid to convert a Sheffield pub into a convenience store.

Efforts to open a new Sainsbury’s Local on the site of The Plough, in Sandygate, are being viewed by campaigners as the city’s first test of the protection offered by listing pubs as ‘assets of community value’.

The Plough, which shut suddenly in April because of a decline in trade, was granted the status by Sheffield Council after a campaign by supporters last year, when fears the pub could become a shop first began.

The Sheffield branch of the Campaign for Real Ale has also been applying to have pubs listed as assets.

So far applications for The Three Tuns, on Silver Street Head and The Cremorne, on London Road, have been approved by the council, while verdicts on the Sheffield Tap at the railway station, the Bath Hotel on Victoria Street, the University Arms and the Castle at Bradway are outstanding.

An objection to the Sainsbury’s plan is likely to be lodged by CAMRA when the retailer submits its planning application to the council, said Dave Pickersgill, the Sheffield group’s pub heritage officer.

“It’s the first ACV pub in Sheffield where this has happened,” he said. “When the planning application goes in no doubt there will be a number of objections. We will probably put one in using a few national examples of where it has been key in planning decisions.”

He said any campaign needed to be ‘community-led’.

Assets cannot be demolished or converted without permission, and residents are given six months to buy property if it is put on the market.

It is understood that Sainsbury’s is now leasing The Plough from Enterprise Inns, the building’s owner.

The Sandygate Road pub is opposite Hallam FC, the world’s oldest football ground. It is believed a pub has been on the site for 400 years.

n A campaign meeting about The Plough’s fate was set to take place on Thursday (June 2) from 7pm at St Columba’s Church Hall in Crosspool.