Tesco is planning to takeover the Emperor pub after a sale by Punch Taverns to new landlords failed. This is an urban pub, but an active community meeting place. Residents opposed to the plans have set up a facebook page, web-site and petition. Facebook is the most active with 180 members so far.
Residents say that this development will not only lead to the loss of a viable and popular community pub, but will also directly impact on local businesses that will have the net result of greater unemployment. It will increase traffic movement onto a busy junction on an arterial residential road, close to bus stops, pedestrian crossing, bus lane, primary school and right next to a car showroom.
The deadline for this application was 4th Feb. This was pushed back from 25th January because the council failed to make it public in time to fulfill the 21 day public consultation period. The local MP has also given his backing to the campaign to keep the pub open.
However, in March 2013 Ipswich Borough Council approved the planning application to convert the Emperor into a Tesco ( ref: 13/00004/ful ). This is despite the pub being open and acknowledged by a number of experienced landlords that it is a viable pub.
It was very recently given Community Asset status. Unfortunately our council were fined heavily on appeal of another pub in Ipswich a few months ago (The Golden Key on Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, planning ref 12/00074/FUL ). It is generally felt that this case influenced the decision.
The planners considered that concerns about traffic were not relevant to the application, and regarded our traffic count of another Tesco Extra to be invalid. They were happy to accept Tesco's assertions on vehicle movements at face value with no evidence to support it. The car-park, in addition to being far too small, will be accessed across a bus-stop and pedestrian crossing (zig-zag lines ).