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Ipswich: MP joins fight to save historic Emperor Inn as Tesco plans new store

PUBLISHED: 11:39 21 January 2013 | UPDATED: 11:39 21 January 2013

Local residents and councilors are campaigning against Tesco's application to turn the Emperor Pub in Ipswich into a store

Local residents and councilors are campaigning against Tesco's application to turn the Emperor Pub in Ipswich into a store

Archant

AN Ipswich MP has given his backing to a campaign mounted to stop Tesco moving into a treasured town pub.

The supermarket giant has its sights set on the Emperor Inn in Norwich Road, and a planning application has been submitted to Ipswich Borough Council to extend the first floor and alter the access to the building and car park.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has written to the IBC case officer dealing with the application backing campaigners. In it he highlights the important role the pub plays in the community, and reiterates concerns for other local businesses.

The letter states: “I understand that there are over two hundred members of a Facebook group dedicated to The Emperor’s preservation and that a paper petition has attracted over three hundred signatures.

“There are several East of England Co-operative supermarkets in the area – including one very close to The Emperor on Norwich Road – as well as the large Sainsbury’s off Hadleigh Road. There are also a number of independent shops within easy walking distance of the site. It is therefore, unclear as to why any new supermarket is needed.”

Carole Jones, borough councillor and member of IBC’s planning committee said while she has real “sympathy” with the campaigners, planning rules mean Tesco do not have to apply for permission to change the pub into a store.

“My concerns are for the loss of a community facility and I have real sympathy with campaigners,” she said. “Unfortunately planning rules are such that Tesco don’t have to ask for permission to change the use of the pub into a store. The application deals only with the modifications to the building.

“I have tried to help as much as I can, it is a lovely building with what we think is quite historic lettering on the front.”

A Tesco spokesman has told The Star: “In our experience, the stores provide a welcome lift to local shopping areas, bringing more people out to shop. We are always keen to meet local residents.”

It is hoped the Tesco Express will open this summer.

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11 comments

  • surely tesco would prefer the suffolk punch as we all know tesco prefer horses!

    Report this comment

    penfold the mole

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • careful mr gummer you don't mind upsetting ipswich residents ,ie, princes st roundabout which nobody wanted , but you don't want to upset the leaders of this town , tesco...

    Report this comment

    gilson

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • It is time local authorities stood up to Tesco and the like whose 'one stop' sheds are responsible for the creeping death of our town centres. In my local market town, Tesco are about to build a 'shed' on the outskirts of the town which will effectively sound the death knell of local business. The local authority doesn't seem to care and have not listened to local concerns. I for one will not set foot in TescoN.

    Report this comment

    Tractorboy

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • @ what we pay tax for - I'm not a tesco fan at all, but if they want to build and they own the land the council can't just stop them on the ground that it's Tesco. Who they are is irrelvent. If the business case if there, it will provide employment and they meet the planning regulations there's little that can do within the law to say no. Also a Tesco at grafton way won't kill the town centre... for starters it's a food store. Second it might actually help by drawing people towards the town centre rather than out of town to do their food shopping and in doing so they might pop into town too. It's also worth nothing, yet again that there are no tesco superstores in Ipswich, only a few small express ones. So these so called "backhanders" and what not Ipswich council are supposed to be getting from tesco are actually going to Babergh, mid-suffolk etc sorry to blow your conspiracy theory out of the water

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • IBC are only interested in business tax, they don't give a stuff about our town, town centre dying in its feet, it will be killed off when Tesco open on grafton way, They want to keep their salaries and gold plated pensions!!! I have another pub is up for grabs for Tesco in Ipswich

    Report this comment

    this is what we pay tax for

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Articles like this always make me laugh how the community ralies around to make sure the pub is not closed. If the pub was sucessful in the first place the brewery would not consider selling it off to turn it into a tesco. I bet half these campaigners have not even drunk in the pub in the last 12 months !

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Honestly, if Mr Gummer jumps on any more band wagon's he's going to find himself rather lost! I used to use this pub years ago and it was a busy place. But its not anymore, very much like the Hare and Hounds and the Rose and Crown used to be, otherwise it would be snapped up by someone else wanting to run it as a pub. Its a shame, but its a purely business decision, not a political one im afraid.

    Report this comment

    Renbud

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • It would be nice if "the opinion man" took the trouble to acquaint himself with the facts before spouting rubbish. For a start, the pub IS successful and is used by a lot of people. There's no brewery considering selling the pub, as it's not owned by a brewery. And yes, a lot of the campaigners (some of whom I know personally) DO drink in the Emperor regularly. It's owned by Punch Taverns, which is a property company whose only interest is making as quick a profit as possible. They don't care if any pub they own is doing well or not; if there's money on the table they'll happily close the busiest and most profitable pub they own. And if the boy Gummer is serious about wanting to save this and thousands of other pubs around the country being targeted by supermarkets, he's wasting his time writing to IBC, because ultimately even if they refuse planning permission, the developers will appeal to the government who ALWAYS overturn the refusal, resulting not only in a loss of amenity but also a huge legal bill for the taxpayer. It's government policy that needs to change not what the council does.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • Honestly, if Mr Gummer jumps on any more band wagon's he's going to find himself rather lost! I used to use this pub years ago and it was a busy place. But its not anymore, very much like the Hare and Hounds and the Rose and Crown used to be, otherwise it would be snapped up by someone else wanting to run it as a pub. Its a shame, but its a purely business decision, not a political one im afraid.

    Report this comment

    Renbud

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • The opinion man - totally agree with you. All these people moaning loosing "their" pub - I bet if you asked the current landlord, he would not recognise any of them. I used to run a pub which has been now closed by the current owner- for financial reasons. The locals are moaning .Back in my time (when people still used pubs), they were not the ones who came in on a regular basis. Use it (your pub) or loose it.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Monday, January 21, 2013

  • @beerlover foot fall and a "busy" pub do not equal successful, or more importantly equal long term profitability. (I too used to run one) in fact mine was a Punch house too... and I agree with you... Punch are money grabbing, nasty, underhanded and down right greedy. Punch Taverns tie their landlords to the floor on everything, from the drink in the cellar to the fruit machines and jukebox. There is NO money in a Punch house for the Landlord, simple as that. If Mr Gummer wants to change the way pubs operate and safeguard their future, then he must tackle in parliament the grossly unfair rules over the use of the tie... he needs to break the breweriespub co's, their control over the cellar stock, their control over the top shelf, their control over the kitchens and even the cleaning products used. Break the tie, let landlords run their business how they see fit and you will create a successful pub industry again. But time is running out.

    Report this comment

    Fat Lady Sings

    Monday, January 21, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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