Politician slams WGC pub to Tesco conversion
15:00 17 November 2012
PLANS to convert a pub into a Tesco Express store have been criticised by a councillor left “disappointed” by the retail giant.
The supermarket monolith has revealed it has designs on the former Oak Tavern in Moors Walk, WGC, and is now leasing the premises after Punch Taverns shut the pub unexpectedly four weeks ago.
Despite the sudden call for last orders, a letter sent to councillors by the firm states the shop is not expected to open until spring or summer next year and the supermarket “will be able to confirm an open date closer to the time”.
Ward councillor Ben Yetts, who works for Tesco, hit out at the move claiming locals would rather have a pub than a shop.
He said: “I’m disappointed. Frankly I think people in the area would rather have a pub than another Tesco.
“They already have a Lidl and there is a Morrisons just down the road.
“My stance isn’t anti-Tesco it is just a shame to lose a local pub that has been there for many years.
“Tesco has just come in and there is nothing anyone can do to stop them, that’s the thing that really bites.”
Pub staff were left shocked when they were told the boozer would close days before the final pint was poured.
Landlady Cath Gentle said at the time: “Mud sticks and I know the pub has a bad reputation. I know a lot of people who will be pleased to see it go, but not our regulars. They are devastated.”
In a statement heralding the shop’s opening Carol Leslie, supermarket spokeswoman, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity and we think this will make an excellent location for a Tesco Express.
“Our new store will complement other traders, providing an attractive mix of shops in Panshanger and encourage people to shop locally and cut down on car journeys to other areas.”
Tesco plans to stage a “public consultation” centring on its store proposal.
The shop will create 20 jobs.