Save our pubs plea

Bee Hive Inn, Wadsley, now a Tesco
Bee Hive Inn, Wadsley, now a Tesco
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Traditional Sheffield pubs are being lost forever – turned into supermarkets thanks to a loophole in planning regulations.

A survey by the Campaign for Real Ale has found that at least nine pubs in the Sheffield area have been converted over the last two years.

Nationally the total is more than 200 – with two pubs becoming supermarkets each week.

Locals lost in and around Sheffield include the Hadfield at Commonside, the Bradway Hotel at Bradway, the Blue Bell at Hackenthorpe, the Plough Inn at Catcliffe and the Bee Hive at Wadsley.

Most have been turned into convenience stores run by major shopping chains and residents say their ‘greed is killing our local communities.’

CAMRA accuses supermarkets of targeting pubs for redevelopment due to current planning laws.

A loophole allows a pub to be converted to other uses including a store without further planning permission, a situation CAMRA says needs to change.

Sheffield spokesman Mike Rose said the issue was becoming a real problem in the city.

“There’s a long list of pubs which have gone and supermarkets seem to be springing up everywhere,” he said.

“It’s getting to the stage where it’s becoming harder and harder just to pop into a pub and have a simple pint.

“Companies are having to specialise, becoming sports bars or pubs which are primarily restaurants.

“If you want a drink without football blasting in your ears or without having to book a table first, you may have a problem in many areas.”

Sheffield residents said the change was a loss for communities.

Steve Bradshaw said on The Star’s Facebook page: “Pubs were the places that brought people in communities together.

“It’s sad to see so many closing to make way for more supermarkets or convenience stores that we really don’t need.”

Helen Strong added: “What we don’t need is yet another Sainsbury’s Local, particularly when they’re opening within spitting distance of existing local shops and close to existing branches of Sainsbury’s Local.

“Their greed is killing our local communities.”

Paul Milne said: “They should be turned into youth clubs instead, to stop youngsters hanging around streets and getting into trouble.”

CAMRA research nationally shows Tesco are by far the most prolific pub converters, taking more than 110 over in 2012 and 2013.

But in Sheffield a range of companies have been involved, including Sainsbury’s, Premier and the Co-op.

CAMRA is encouraging communities to show their support for their local by nominating them as an Asset of Community Value – a status which can prevent closure.

The Cutlers Arms on Westgate, Rotherham, has the status and last year the Anglers Rest in Bamford was saved from redevelopment by community campaigners who sought to base the village post office inside the pub.

This week the Angel Hotel at Spinkhill was also saved from closure after being listed as an ACV by villagers.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We have brought a number of disused former pubs back to life by transforming them into convenience stores. These stores provide a valuable service to local communities and make sure empty or derelict buildings do not fall into disrepair.”

And a spokesman for the British Retail Consortium added: “Investment in these buildings, often on high streets, creating jobs and bringing popular stores serving fresh products to customers is beneficial to communities, rather than leaving them to stand empty. These stores also help customers to shop locally and benefit other retailers around them.”