Fears over plans to convert old pub

Improvements to the playing fields off Park Avenue in Furness Vale have been given the green light by councillors.

Improvements to the playing fields off Park Avenue in Furness Vale have been given the green light by councillors.

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A convenience store owner says plans to turn an old pub into a shop could kill off his trade and force him out of business.

Harpreet Singh has run Best One convenience store on Airedale Road in Castleford Road for seven years, but fears for his future after plans were recently unveiled to transform the nearby New Airedale pub.

The pub has stood empty for more than a year and previous plans to convert it into flats were rejected by council planners.

The applicant has simply applied for a change of use to retail this time, but Mr Singh is worried it could be another grocery store.

In a letter to Wakefield Council’s planning department he wrote: “It will have a massive and drastic effect on my business.

“I strongly doubt I would be able to continue to run the business if more competition came into the area.

“We have around eight independent convenience stores, as well as a Co-Op convenience store, and a Tesco Express store that opened approximately five years ago.

“All the independent retailers are already suffering after the Tesco Express opened.

“Business over the past few years has significantly decreased.

Mr Singh says that he has already had to cut his workforce down in recent years, but could be forced to axe more if planning permission is given.

He says that his customers are also backing his concerns.

“They have shown their disapproval regarding another convenience store opening, and are all saying they would much prefer the area to have a business that would benefit the area. I have no problem with it being any type of business, but this area does not need another convenience store.”