THE prospect of an old Sheffield pub being demolished to make way for a Sainsbury’s supermarket had prompted widespread community protests.
Objectors say the Cart and Horses in High Green has been an important part of village life for almost 200 years.
They also maintain that replacing it with a Sainsbury’s convenience store - and a fish and chip shop - would exacerbate traffic problems and cause too much noise.
A petition with 597 names has been submitted to the council by the Wortley Road Protest group, an objection has been lodged by Ecclesfield Parish Council and 153 individual representations have been lodged.
But the groundswell of local opinion has failed to persuade city planners that the application should be rejected. They say that, on balance, there are no fundamental objections to the proposed development, overlooking the roundabout at the junctions of Wortley Road, Mortomley Lane and Jeffcock Road.
City councillors are due to decide on Tuesday whether to accept their officers’ advice, or to side with the objectors.
Sainsbury’s are looking to open one of their ‘Local’ stores on the site of the pub, with a fish and chip shop alongside.
Among the wave of protests, there is a comment that the area is “badly served” by shops, with residents travelling to Rotherham and Barnsley. “We must be the only area in any major city in the UK to still not have 24-hour opening, let along a supermarket which offers the same choices as anywhere in the city.”
However, this is the wrong spot, it is argued.
It is on a route that already experiences high volumes of traffic, with Wortley Road “regularly gridlocked”.
Concerns are raised about where shoppers would park when the proposed 20-space car park is full, and about delivery lorries causing noise.
“Disbelief” is expressed by some critics at the proposed loss of such an old building and a replacement that would “erode the village environment and crate more of a suburban high street”.
One supporter, though, who has lived in High Green for 20 years, says: “High Green is no longer a village due to mass developments and a supermarket would be welcome”.
Council officers have assessed all the details, and are recommending the go-ahead, subject to conditions, for a store open between 7am and 11pm and for a hot food takeaway that could open between 9am and 11pm.
The prospect of losing the old pub is “disappointing”, but it is not a listed building. “It is considered that the main issues in relation to highways, loss of a historic building and erosion of village character and noise/light pollution have been addressed ...” says the officers’ report to councillors.
Matters relating to commercial competition are not planning considerations, it is pointed out.