Rally against Tesco plan for pub

A protest against Tesco taking over a former neighbourhood pub in Stevenage is set to take place on Sunday with organisers expecting hundreds.

The rally organised by local residents is intended to send a message to the supermarket giant that it is not wanted at The Glebe neighbourhood shopping area after Tesco agreed a lease on the former Chells Family Pub two weeks ago.

Organiser David Chell, 43, of Newton Road, said: “We are holding a protest against Tesco taking over our family pub to have an Express store that we do not need. We already have a large Nisa and off-licence in the area. We have only found out recently that our local pub had been sold to Tesco with no concern for the local community both young and old who use it as a meeting place.”

He added that he is using the former pub’s Facebook page which has around 700 members, to rally support at the pub.

“We want to meet up and let people put their views across how we don’t want the pub turned into a Tesco and also sign a petition. The first thing we are going to is go to the council and ask why have they said Tesco can have it.”

In a further attempt to stop Tesco moving into the privately owned building, the manager of the Glebe Nisa Local grocery store said he is drawing up plans to offer a �50,000 plan to reopen the building as a pub.

Kishor Patel, who wants to open a further two stores at The Glebe, said he will be sending out a leaflet to residents “giving the residents our side of the story” in response to literature distributed by Tesco.

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“For the vitality of the Glebe precinct, neighbouring stores, and most importantly the local pub, I will be including in our circular, if anyone wanted to reopen the pub, I am personally willing to put forward an investment programme for refurbishment of the pub, furniture and marketing of up to �50,000.”