Pub regulars petition to stop creation of supermarket

Stephen Keir with a petition of over 2000 signatures against the proposal of Tesco Express converting the Victoria and Albert pub in Seaton Delaval.
Stephen Keir with a petition of over 2000 signatures against the proposal of Tesco Express converting the Victoria and Albert pub in Seaton Delaval.
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REGULARS at a popular pub have joined forced to stop their local being turned into a supermarket.

Patrons and residents living near to the Victoria and Albert public house in Seaton Delaval were shocked to hear that the giant supermarket chain, Tesco, are proposing to turn the pub into a Tesco Express.

Residents were horrified to learn of the plans, and now the fight against the Vic’s closure is led by local man Stephen Keir, who was himself badly injured in April 2011, at the junction between Fontburn Road and the main road between Seaton Delaval and Holywell, where the Vic lies.

Stephen, who has since organised a petition to stop the proposals and has gathered more than 2,000 names, said: “The Vic is our community pub and has been there since 1839. When your local’s gone, it’s gone forever, but Tesco will come and go.

“Tesco should not be allowed to take away our local community pub because this stretch of the A192 is a notorious accident black spot with historical data to support this fact. The development of a Tesco Express on this plot will significantly worsen traffic and accident potential due to increased traffic movement, turning vehicles, deliveries etc.

“The Vic is our community centre, where people of all ages and backgrounds can socialise, in a time when sense of community is so essential to keep alive.”

The patrons and residents are now vowing to fight Tesco’s plans, and although they are determined to keep the Vic as a community asset, they are also terrified by even more accidents happening on this stretch of road, where there has already been a significant number.

Northumberland County Councillor and Seaton Valley Town Councillor Bobby Nixon, said: “The licensee in the Victoria and Albert has been in post for several weeks now and has turned the place around from the point of view of making a profit.

“Where will all these local people go if the wonderful amenity of this Inn is lost to the residents of this large area?”

A Tesco spokesman said: “We are pleased that our application is going before the council and look forward to the outcome.

“Our Express stores are small convenience stores that offer customers a choice and deliver great value shopping.”

The application will be heard at Northumberland County Council’s south east area planning committee next Tuesday.