Campaigners hand in 1,000-name petition in bid to save Derbyshire pub

The Wellington Hotel.
The Wellington Hotel.
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Campaigners have handed in a 1,000-strong petition to Chesterfield Borough Council opposing plans to turn a pub into a convenience store.

The protesters from the Save our Welly group – which is fighting to keep the Wellington Hotel, in New Whittington, open – packed into the council chamber on Wednesday to present the petition.

Andy Bell spoke on behalf of the group, which is urging the council to declare the High Street pub as an asset of community value and issue a declaration which would prevent development on the site.

The responsibility for both of these actions rests with Councillor Terry Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council’s deputy leader and executive member for planning.

Cllr Gilby said: “I’d like to thank the Save our Welly campaign group for presenting the petition to council and for the members of the public who came along to the meeting.

“Their feelings have been heard and I will take into account the petition and the advice of the council’s planning committee as well as the views of other stakeholders when I make my decisions about the Wellington, which is due to be in the week beginning March 2.”

Viky Muddiman, leader of the Save Our Welly campaign group, said: “Pubs are part of the fabric of our communities. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.”

North East Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel, who is backing the Save our Welly campaign, added: “The Wellington Hotel is an important part of the local economy in New Whittington.”

A spokesman for NewRiver Retail, which acquired the Wellington Hotel from Marton’s in December 2013, said: “We will be notifying the community in due course about our intended plans for a new convenience store and these will be subject to the normal planning decision-making process where local people can express their views.”