10:01AM, Thursday 13 December 2012
A battle has begun to save community pub the Golden Harp from the clutches of supermarket giant Tesco.
Tesco has leased the Golden Harp, which sits on the junction between Furze Platt Road and Courthouse Road, from owner Enterprise Inns.
It plans to turn the building into an Express store - the same kind as the one which opened less than two miles away on the Bath Road near Castle Hill yesterday.
Emily De Fraine and her dad Mark Newcombe have been co-ordinating a petition against the plans which has collected more than 500 signatures so far.
The 30-year-old from Hungerford Drive said it would be 'devastating' if Tesco moved in. "If there are no pubs where do people go to socialise?" she said.
Graham Barker, 64, labelled the decision as 'corporate greed gone mad'. "We've had some great times there," he said.
The Furze Platt Road resident questioned the impact it would have on neighbouring businesses and the road network, and asked: "Where will all the traffic go?"
Tesco says the new store would create approximately 20 jobs.But it also says it could see as many as three deliveries a day.
It had already closed for a brief period this summer. A spokeswoman for Enterprise Inns said: "Despite investment in the property earlier this year, we have been unable to find the right publican who could share our vision and take the site forward as a pub business."
She would not go into detail about the lease.
Tesco has sent a letter to nearby residents in which it describes itself as their 'future neighbour'.
It claimed it would not need change of use planning consent for the building and instead will be applying to make minor alterations including installing a cash machine.
A spokesman said: "We look forward to sharing and discussing our exciting plans with local residents in the weeks ahead."
Copies of the petition can be found in Best One and Palmieri's. A 'Save the Harp' Facebook group has also been set up. Click here to see the Facebook group if you are logged in.
Comment: What do you think of Tesco's plan? Leave your comments below.
See more comments from the community in today's Maidenhead Advertiser.
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