PLANS to convert a pub into a Tesco Express store have been criticised by a councillor left “disappointed” by the retail giant.

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The supermarket monolith has revealed it has designs on the former Oak Tavern in Moors Walk, WGC, and is now leasing the premises after Punch Taverns shut the pub unexpectedly four weeks ago.

Despite the sudden call for last orders, a letter sent to councillors by the firm states the shop is not expected to open until spring or summer next year and the supermarket “will be able to confirm an open date closer to the time”.

Ward councillor Ben Yetts, who works for Tesco, hit out at the move claiming locals would rather have a pub than a shop.

He said: “I’m disappointed. Frankly I think people in the area would rather have a pub than another Tesco.

“They already have a Lidl and there is a Morrisons just down the road.

“My stance isn’t anti-Tesco it is just a shame to lose a local pub that has been there for many years.

“Tesco has just come in and there is nothing anyone can do to stop them, that’s the thing that really bites.”

Pub staff were left shocked when they were told the boozer would close days before the final pint was poured.

Landlady Cath Gentle said at the time: “Mud sticks and I know the pub has a bad reputation. I know a lot of people who will be pleased to see it go, but not our regulars. They are devastated.”

In a statement heralding the shop’s opening Carol Leslie, supermarket spokeswoman, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity and we think this will make an excellent location for a Tesco Express.

“Our new store will complement other traders, providing an attractive mix of shops in Panshanger and encourage people to shop locally and cut down on car journeys to other areas.”

Tesco plans to stage a “public consultation” centring on its store proposal.

The shop will create 20 jobs.

10 comments

  • I too would rather see a change of use for this premises - but Tesco's - talk about getting into WGC by the back door. Another food store - just what we all need!

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    Twinkle

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • not so sure of a tesco but way better than a pub thats run to the ground and deals drugs and involved in violence only sad loosers drink there so no lose x

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    Keri Scales

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • With all the proposed housing that the council are looking at building in welwyn and Hatfield I feel that this is a good move. Welwyn and Hatfield need more shops with affordable prices, not just the top of the market shops in WGC. And as many people have said in most of the posts on here, a pub that has been trouble for many years will not be missed.

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    Peter B

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • I live a stones throw from where this shop will be, and can see nothing but positivity being brought to the area with Tesco. From the outside looking in, prior to closure the pub was no different to how it was prior to the change of management. It still looked intimidating, it still looked rough as, it still had letchy red faced old men hanging about outside drinking away their benefit money. The area is already a nicer place just because the pub is closed. The Tesco will finish off the area nicely.

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    WGCResident

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • Much support for Tesco. Heard so many people say about drug activity. Felt scared to go down to get some takeaway with everyone standing outside. Very intimidating.

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    LO24

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I'm sorry but got to disagree - I rather have a Tesco then a run down pub that was featured in a lads magazine 5 years go making the top 10 most dangerous pubs in the UK anytime.

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    dagreen

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • I live above the shops, and I'm so glad the pub's gone. I used to wake up with smashed bottles around my car, be kept awake with roaring drunks and screeching women. This has all stopped now and I'm much happier. I'm not against a pub, but I'd like one that is properly invested in and not a complete dive, those sorts of pubs only attract low lives who just want to cause a nuisance.

    Report this comment

    ABCDEFG

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • I'm sorry but when have Poundstretcher, Iceland, Boots, Superdrug, M&S, Smiths, Halfords, Costcutter, Argos etc been 'top of the market' shops. I think you are just refering to just 2 shops in WGC - J. Lewis & Waitrose. If you knew just how much business they bring into the town then I don't think you would complain. 90% of our high street is your average retail businesses. Unless you want to see every other shop as a 99p shop (like Stevenage) then I would suggest you support the diversity we have. As for the comment about Tesco's having more choice - It is only going to be an Express Shop - small. Go and see the shop in Welwyn and see just how much choice you have - very little. By it's very nature it will only stock the higher end goods due to the captive market.

    Report this comment

    Twinkle

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • I'm sorry but when have Poundstretcher, Iceland, Boots, Superdrug, M&S, Smiths, Halfords, Costcutter, Argos etc been 'top of the market' shops. I think you are just refering to just 2 shops in WGC - J. Lewis & Waitrose. If you knew just how much business they bring into the town then I don't think you would complain. 90% of our high street is your average retail businesses. Unless you want to see every other shop as a 99p shop (like Stevenage) then I would suggest you support the diversity we have. As for the comment about Tesco's having more choice - It is only going to be an Express Shop - small. Go and see the shop in Welwyn and see just how much choice you have - very little. By it's very nature it will only stock the higher end goods due to the captive market.

    Report this comment

    Twinkle

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • I am 100% for a Tesco Express being built here. Everyone is arguing that it isn't needed, that Lidl is already there etc, but Lidl just doesn't cut it for me, they have a few things you can get in there but they simply do not have the variety Tesco can offer, with certain brands I for one like, and I can't be alone there. As for locals preferring to have a pub there, which locals are you referring to Ben? Because every local I have spoken to have all said a massive 'good riddance' to the Oak, it has been a stain on the estate for my entire life so far. Ben should also be careful, mentions he works for Tesco yet he's hitting out at the decision, might find a P45 in the post soon!

    Report this comment

    FirstBaseman

    Monday, November 19, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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