Fears a Sheffield village pub could be eventually turned into a supermarket have been raised by concerned residents.
Plans to make alterations to the closed Royal Oak pub on High Street, Beighton – including a single-storey side extension, removal of a stairway and car park alterations – have been approved by Sheffield Council.
Documents submitted by applicant Langar Estates say they intend to retain the premises for class A4 use, which covers drinking establishments, and that 10 staff will be employed. The ground floor will become a ‘modern restaurant/dining and bar room accommodation’.
They also speak of it being at the ‘heart of the community’.
But some residents fear other moves could be afoot in future.
The applicant for the case has purchased another pub in Manchester and turned it into a Tesco supermarket without the need for change-of-use approval.
Aubrey Hill, of Beighton, said: “Residents of Beighton were elated to hear The Royal Oak is to be revamped and reopened as a restaurant or pub.
“But are we being hoodwinked?
“Those named on the application have apparently been involved in buying up vacant village pubs which are then quickly converted into a Tesco Express before anyone can create a fuss. Apparently they are able to do this without applying for any change of use.
“I believe old, traditional pubs, like The Royal Oak, should be kept as an asset for the community if at all possible and not as an asset for the greedy supermarket chains.
“Our local pubs are often the place where we first get to speak to our near neighbours and other local people.
“It’s sad they are disappearing at such an alarming rate.
“We have no need for a Tesco Express when Crystal Peaks shopping centre and other supermarkets are nearby.”
The pub has been closed since December.
Matthew Brooke of the applicant’s agent, Edgeplan, said he was not aware that the site would be used for retail.
The applicant and Tesco were unavailable for comment.