Conversion of Wey Inn to Tesco supermarket

Wey Inn

Wey Inn

Yet another pub lost, or will be.

The Wey Inn is sitting derelict, sold to Tesco.

What shocked me, and I double checked to make sure, no planning consent is required for change of use.

A change in the planning rules is needed.

Why are the local planning officials saying there is nothing they can do, when this is simply not true?

Is there a pub protection policy in place, if not why not? Adopt the excellent Cambridge pub protection policy, also look at Islington.

There are many old pubs in Godalming. If not listed nationally by English Heritage, are they listed locally as buildings of local historical importance, if not why not? Is there a policy in place on buildings of local historical importance?

Listing as an Asset of Community Value?

Link up with the campaign to save The Wheatsheaf in Tooting Bec.

Check out all the useful information on Tescopoly website, including advice on planning and cases studies where people have stopped pubs being destroyed by Tesco.

What is the local Member of Parliament doing? Is like Sadiq Khan supporting the campaign? Or is like Gerald Howarth, who stitched up a deal behind the backs of local people to demolish The Tumbledown Dick for a McDonald’s Drive-Thru?

Sadiq Khan went to the boss of Tesco, and received assurances they would not be taking over the Wheatsheaf. Gerald Howarth behind the backs of local people, went to McDonald’s and stitched up a deal to demolish The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru.

Waverley Council must issue an Article 4 Direction.

Article 4 removes ‘permitted development rights’ for a property – meaning that any proposed change of use has to go through a planning committee. Currently, no planning consent is required for change of use.

This means, without an Article 4 Direction, if Tesco or anyone else wants to change the use of the pub to a supermarket, the planning committee currently has no grounds to prevent the change of use to a supermarket – but with an Article 4 Direction – elected local councillors get to have a say.

Other local authorities like Lewisham and Islington have stood up for local residents and pubs and granted Article 4 Directions. Godalming should expect no less from Waverley Council.

Article 4 saved Catford Bridge Tavern

Article 4 saved Catford Bridge Tavern

When the Catford Bridge Tavern pub in Lewisham faced a supermarket takeover last year – with the planning application to change the pub into a shop already lodged – the community still came together and saved the pub.

Lewisham Council used an Article 4 Direction to stop the pub becoming a supermarket and now the residents of Lewisham are able to continue to enjoy their popular local pub.

Granting both an ACV and an Article 4 Direction can happen very quickly if there is willingness from the Council, but Article 4 must be the priority.

Waverley Council should follow the excellent example of Lewisham Council and use the powers they have and act on behalf of the local community they are employed to serve and save The Wey Inn.

The fate of the Wey Inn only serves to illustrate why Fair Deal For Your Local is so important.

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One Response to “Conversion of Wey Inn to Tesco supermarket”

  1. keithpp Says:

    The Wey Inn was owned by Enterprise Inns. No surprise then it went under. It would have been a surprise otherwise.

    It is being claimed, claimed by who, the Wey Inn was not viable. Under Enterprise Inns this is no surprise. The question is, would it be viable free of pubco tie?

    Leased to Tesco for 20 years, with opt out after ten years and five yearly rent reviews. Enterprise subsequently sold the freehold to a property company for £1 million.

    Massive public opposition, over 6,000 signed a petition, biggest demonstration seen in Godalming, large public meetings. Waverley have been asked to serve an Article 4 Direction which would quash the planning consent and force a planning application, but are refusing to do so.

    Waverley are dragging their feet. What planning grounds are there for not serving an Article 4 Direction? To say it has progressed too far is a cop out. There was no reason to serve Article 4 Direction until it progressed this far.

    If Lewisham and Islington can serve an Article 4 Direction to save their local pubs, then so can Waverley. Maybe, if they are not up to scratch, they should seek advice from colleagues in London.

    What is the local Member of Parliament Jeremy Hunt doing? Sadiq Khan MP went to the boss of Tesco, and received assurances they would not be taking over the Wheatsheaf in Tooting Bec. Or is Hunt too busy trying to close the A&E at Lewisham Hospital?

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