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Ipswich: Pub regulars’ protest over Tesco’s store bid

PUBLISHED: 12:48 12 February 2013 | UPDATED: 12:48 12 February 2013

Neil Wagner, holds a sign, protesting the closure of the Emperor Inn on Norwich Road in Ipswich for a Tesco along with other regular pub patrons.

Neil Wagner, holds a sign, protesting the closure of the Emperor Inn on Norwich Road in Ipswich for a Tesco along with other regular pub patrons.

Archant

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save their pub from becoming a Tesco store have made their feelings known about the proposals by staging a protest.

Regulars at the Emperor Inn, in Norwich Road, stood outside the pub brandishing placards at the weekend, with the supermarket giant’s proposals due to go before planning chiefs tomorrow.

Community leaders and homeowners have raised objections in recent weeks with the impact on local shops one of the major concerns.

Rebecca Moss, one of the campaigners, said: “We have just got to keep battling on – we are determined not to lose it.

“We need to build up confidence in the abilities of people to fight this thing.”

Ms Moss also described the pub as a great meeting place for the community and has also been used by a number of groups including the Broomhill Trust.

Punch Taverns put the Emperor Inn on the market last year and Tesco has since taken on the lease.

The company does not need to apply for change of use but is seeking permission from the borough council to make minor alterations, an extension of the first floor and car parking provision.

Tesco wants to open the new store, a Tesco Express, this summer and estimates the shop would employ about 20 people.

A spokesman said: “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.”

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