Popular pub to become supermarket

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A former pub will be turned into a food store, it was confirmed this week.

The Woodman Inn, in Colchester Road, Halstead, closed in September, with The Co-operative Food announcing a deal to open a new store on the site, which it hopes to have ready by the summer.

Residents and staff from the pub had started a petition against the closure by owner Punch Taverns, but in September a final night of live music was held to mark the end of the venue as a pub.

A spokesman for The Co-operative Food said it hoped the new store would create 20 jobs.

The 2,200 square foot supermarket will have a car park and a cash machine.

Paresh Pancholi, regional acquisitions manager for The Co-operative Food, said: “When the developer made the decision to lease the pub to a convenience store operator, we immediately saw the potential for a community-focussed store.

“A convenience store with a strong emphasis on fresh produce will enable us to build upon an established customer base and provide an even better service for the community.

“The location is ideal for us, and we are very confident the new store will be an asset to Halstead and the wider area.”

The company is also set to move into the former Highbury Barn pub in Canhams Road, Great Cornard, which was closed by owner Punch Taverns, with last orders called in November 2012.

As with the Woodman Inn, the closure came in for fierce criticism from residents.

In both cases, Punch Taverns was free to convert the sites into retail units.