Pub’s future on hold as shop owner warns her store ‘can’t survive’ new Co-op

A DECISION on plans to turn a former Frampton Cotterell pub into a Co-op shop and housing has been delayed.

The plans for the Live and Let Live were due to be decided by South Gloucestershire councillors on October 12.

But they deferred a final decision to find out further details about how the new Co-op would affect existing shops in the village.

The pub on Clyde Road closed four years ago and has been empty ever since.

The council’s development management committee heard from both the developers and shopkeepers, including one who said her business “can’t survive another multiple retailer moving into our area”.

As well as a shop the developers want to build a house, three flats and a bungalow on the site.

Pure Town Planning associate director Chris Miell said: “The public house closed in 2019 and has remained vacant for the past four years.

“It would be unviable for the pub to recommence trading due to substantial renovation costs and low levels of expected turnover.

“The public house has been marketed for over two years and no offer has been received from pub operators or similar businesses. Therefore the loss of the public house is acceptable in planning terms.”

The main concern raised during the meeting, rather than the loss of a community pub, was how a new shop could compete with existing convenience stores.

Mr Miell said an extra shop in the area could encourage people living nearby to walk, instead of driving.

He said: “There are approximately 2,600 local residents who live within 400 metres of this site.

“At present there are no convenience shops in this part of the village, which means that these residents need to walk 13 minutes to reach their nearest store.

“In reality most residents would drive, which is an unsustainable pattern of movement.”

Existing shopkeepers are opposing the plans, while concerns have also been raised by residents over the potential impact on parking and traffic in the village.

Local planning consultant Stuart Rackham spoke at the meeting “on behalf of a number of local shops” to object to the application.

He said: “The Village Roots is a local store embedded in the community and it’s been part of Frampton Cotterell for generations.

“The real fear here is that if you grant permission and allow another convenience store in this part of Frampton, it’ll be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back, in terms of the store surviving. There are significant cost increases which local businesses are incurring at the moment.”

Edwina Pennell, who runs the Budgens shop on Woodend Road, added: “We’ve all been dreading today because we know that the decision you take could change our lives forever.

“We survived the pandemic but now we’re under huge pressure from rising costs and the cost of retail goods rising.

“But we’re confident we can survive and overcome these problems by working harder and longer and cutting costs and persevering.

“However, we all honestly know, without a doubt, that we can’t survive another multiple retailer moving into our area. It would just be too much for us to take.

“We are the high street and we are asking you for your protection.”

The decision will now be taken at a later planning meeting.

By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporting Service