May 24 2013 Latest news:
By Paul Geater
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The Emperor pub in Norwich Road will become a Tesco Metro.
The borough’s planning and development committee has given approval to a proposal to build an extension to the building which will allow it to be converted into a neighbourhood store.
Members of the committee voted 8-1 to back their officers’ recommendation that there were no justifiable planning grounds to refuse the application.
Tesco does not need planning permission to convert the pub into a shop, the only aspect which needed permission was the extension which the company said was necessary to make the store viable.
There has been a major campaign against Tesco by regulars at the pub, and local councillors Andrew Cann and Carole Jones both spoke against the application.
They were particularly concerned about the traffic to the store – especially delivery lorries – which they feared could cause problems on one of the busiest roads into the town.
Simon Peters from Tesco told the committee that the new store would create about 20 new jobs.
The company was aware of the strength of feeling of local people who were concerned about losing a local pub, but he said that the new store would fulfil a valuable service.
Speaking after the meeting, he said there were still details to be agreed, but the company hoped to start work later this year.