Residents fighting Proposal for new Co-op store

Local residents in Lutterworth protest their objection to the plans for the local pub , the Sir Frank Whittle, may be ear-marked to become a supermarket.
Local residents in Lutterworth protest their objection to the plans for the local pub , the Sir Frank Whittle, may be ear-marked to become a supermarket.

A plan to put a supermarket in the place of a town centre pub is drawing angry criticism from Lutterworth residents.

Midlands Co-operative has confirmed to the Mail that it is looking to move on to the The Sir Frank Whittle pub site in Linden Drive, which is owned by Marston’s Brewery.

Local residents in Lutterworth protest their objection to the plans for the local pub , the Sir Frank Whittle, may be ear-marked to become a supermarket.

Local residents in Lutterworth protest their objection to the plans for the local pub , the Sir Frank Whittle, may be ear-marked to become a supermarket.

The area is already served by the Linden Food Stores and Off License.

Objections raised by residents include concerns about the need for an additional store at the location, increased traffic, the threat to other local businesses and the loss of a community amenity.

John Baggaly, of Willowtree Crescent, said: “There are too many pubs closing these days and I think if we get this supermarket there is every chance that it will close two shops in Linden Drive.”

Another town resident Colin Satchell said there is a crash nearly every day on the junction of Greenacres Drive and Linden Drive.

He added: “The area is not fit for more traffic, never mind lorries delivering to a supermarket.

“Opposite the site you have a retirement complex; they will be very unhappy of early morning deliveries, it is on the school run and you have the park opposite which on Sundays is packed with children and their parents for the football. There’s always a parking problem.”

Madhukar Patel, who owns Linden Stores, said: “This has been a local community shop since it was built in the 1970s.

“We have been here for the last 27 or so years.

“It will spoil everything and make life very difficult for us.”

Mr Patel also raised concerns about the loss of jobs for people who work at the pub, which was only recently refurbished and took on a new name after replacing The Balloon.

The planning application has now been submitted for consideration to Harborough District Council’s planning committee.

The application does not mention the Co-op. It was only after enquiries were made by the Mail that this came to light.

Despite only being available to view for a short time, the application has already received more than 80 comments against the proposal from residents.

The Mail asked Marston’s what the time scale was on the development and which supermarket was planning to move in should planning permission be received.

Marston’s declined to answer both questions.

A Marston’s spokesperson would only say: “We have submitted an application for planning of a retail outlet.”

But a spokesperson for Midlands Co-operative Society confirmed its intentions and added: “We can confirm that our society has entered into an agreement with Masrston’s, the current owners of the Sir Frank Whittle pub on Linden Drive, Lutterworth, after becoming aware of its intention to sell the pub as a retail development opportunity.

“Marston’s have submitted a planning application for the conversion of the premises to a convenience store and, if it is granted, it is our intention to move ahead with development of the site which we believe will add value to the area and offer local people a really useful amenity.

“We pride ourselves on being a local community retailer which strives to make a real contribution to the areas in which we trade.”