Pub owners submit fresh plans in bid for supermarket

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Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Increased support is needed to prevent a Great Cornard pub being changed into a supermarket after fresh plans, which would see part of the building demolished, were submitted.

Punch Taverns, the owner’s of the Highbury Barn in Canhams Road, has handed in a planning application detailing proposals to knock down a section of the pub and replace it with a single-storey rear extension.

The move is part of the company’s ambitions to turn the 18th century building into a retail unit.

Gavin Fance, a long-time campaigner fighting to save the pub, said the application was another signal that more needs to be done to retain the building.

“There is an epidemic of pubs closing and, if the Highbury Barn becomes a supermarket, the people of Cornard will lose out,” said Mr Fance, from Sycamore Road.

“We need a place that promotes traditional social gathering, because it is very important in a community. I hope people will support us.”

The pub, which closed 18 months ago, has been registered as an asset of community value, but last month members of Great Cornard Parish Council voted to back proposals to turn it into a shop.

An initial scheme to redevelop the site and build a £1million supermarket was refused by Babergh District Council last year.

A subsequent appeal was also dismissed after a planning inspector found the building was “a heritage asset of local significance”.

Mr Fance, whose grandparents Del and Jean were landlords of the pub in the 1970s, said a property developer had offered to buy the building with a view to getting him and his family to run it, but had not been able to reach an agreement with Punch Taverns.

A public consultation into the new plans is due to run until April.