Traders fight application to convert derelict Fairmile pub into Co-op store

Bournemouth Echo: Graham Northeast and other Fairmile Road traders who are raising an objection to an application to change the disused Fairmile pub into a Co-op store. Graham Northeast and other Fairmile Road traders who are raising an objection to an application to change the disused Fairmile pub into a Co-op store.

TRADERS and residents in Christchurch have kick-started a campaign against an application to convert a disused pub into a Co-operative store.

Concerns have been raised about the possibility of increased traffic congestion and the negative impact the change could have on the small businesses nearby.

The Fairmile pub was forced to shut down in 2008 but new guidelines state that planning permission does not need to be granted to change a drinking establishment to a shop.

Ward Councillor Colin Bungey has urged as many people as possible to protest and even voiced his intention to take the matter to MP Chris Chope.

He said: “At least half a dozen shops could be forced to close and other businesses will be placed under serious threat.

“I will be taking the matter to local MP Chris Chope and any other Dorset MPs who might be interested because there is absolutely nothing that a local authority can do. It is ludicrous.”

At least 10 objections have already been submitted and 12 are needed by December 26 to ensure the application is brought before the planning committee.

Graham Northeast, the owner of Bonafide Wines, said: “A Co-op would not be in-keeping with the look and feel of the local community. We are also worried that there will be increased traffic and other shops could be put out of business.”

Co-owner of Fairmile Florist Stuart Balding said: “I have already submitted my objection as I know it will definitely affect my business.”

John Ellis from Town Common News said: “I think the Co-op opening would affect all the businesses in the area and it would look out of place.”

The new convenience store will create 25 new jobs and hopes to invigorate the area and create a greater sense of community.

Gareth Dexter, Regional Acquisitions Manager for The Co-operative Food, said: “The investment will bring a bright, modern store with an extensive fresh produce range and excellent customer service.

“We look forward to welcoming new customers, meeting the community’s daily food shopping needs and, in the best traditions of The Co-operative, make our contribution to local life.”

  • West Christchurch Residents Association have also written to the council objecting to the change of use, saying the site would be better used as affordable housing.

They have objected to the new frontage, impact on road users, and the impact on neighbouring shops, potentially creating a “rundown area as local businesses fold”, according to a letter they have sent the planning department.

Comments (15)

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6:40pm Thu 26 Dec 13

jem-76 says...

So is this the local Southern Co-op, or the Manchester-based one? They share the same "Co-operative Food" brand, but there seems a bit of a difference in each company's approach so it'd be helpful if the article could have detailed which company wants to open a store here.

The stores run by the Co-operative Group e.g. Holdenhurst Road, Southbourne Grove) are a bit hit-and-miss.

By comparison, the Southern Co-operative stores all seem to be clean, well-kept and well-run (e.g. Lansdowne Road and Old Christchurch Road branches).

If it's Southern Co-op looking at opening, I'd say it'll probably be a bit of an asset to the area. A good quality, socially-responsible food shop ought to drive up footfall for all traders.
So is this the local Southern Co-op, or the Manchester-based one? They share the same "Co-operative Food" brand, but there seems a bit of a difference in each company's approach so it'd be helpful if the article could have detailed which company wants to open a store here. The stores run by the Co-operative Group e.g. Holdenhurst Road, Southbourne Grove) are a bit hit-and-miss. By comparison, the Southern Co-operative stores all seem to be clean, well-kept and well-run (e.g. Lansdowne Road and Old Christchurch Road branches). If it's Southern Co-op looking at opening, I'd say it'll probably be a bit of an asset to the area. A good quality, socially-responsible food shop ought to drive up footfall for all traders. jem-76

8:17pm Thu 26 Dec 13

martin_cracknell@hotmail.com says...

It's a shame that no-one can run the premises as a community Pub, the council should help rather than turn it in to another convenience store.
I don't see it fair that profit goes to some big wig owners rather than staying in the local area.
It's a shame that no-one can run the premises as a community Pub, the council should help rather than turn it in to another convenience store. I don't see it fair that profit goes to some big wig owners rather than staying in the local area. martin_cracknell@hotmail.com

10:17pm Thu 26 Dec 13

Huey says...

I like a drink, but rarely go to the pub even though I would like to, because a couple of pints in a reasonable bar is going to cost about 6 or 7 pounds, for which you could get six 500ml cans.
The chancellor should lower the duty pubs have to pay on alcohol, and maybe make the supermarkets and shops pay a bit more.
The places like this would thrive once more, and I can spend more time up the pub.
I like a drink, but rarely go to the pub even though I would like to, because a couple of pints in a reasonable bar is going to cost about 6 or 7 pounds, for which you could get six 500ml cans. The chancellor should lower the duty pubs have to pay on alcohol, and maybe make the supermarkets and shops pay a bit more. The places like this would thrive once more, and I can spend more time up the pub. Huey

11:28pm Thu 26 Dec 13

Yankee1 says...

martin_cracknell@hot
mail.com
wrote:
It's a shame that no-one can run the premises as a community Pub, the council should help rather than turn it in to another convenience store.
I don't see it fair that profit goes to some big wig owners rather than staying in the local area.
Odd comment; that was the original point behind the Coop.
[quote][p][bold]martin_cracknell@hot mail.com[/bold] wrote: It's a shame that no-one can run the premises as a community Pub, the council should help rather than turn it in to another convenience store. I don't see it fair that profit goes to some big wig owners rather than staying in the local area.[/p][/quote]Odd comment; that was the original point behind the Coop. Yankee1

11:33pm Thu 26 Dec 13

whataboutthat says...

Capitalism is competition. Other shop owners: get used to it.
Capitalism is competition. Other shop owners: get used to it. whataboutthat

2:58am Fri 27 Dec 13

mia400 says...

so its the shop owners that are objecting not the people in the area that would benefit !! 25 new jobs and a good use for a building thats just sat there looking a mess,i know what i'd prefer !! there are just to many pubs in the area and most are struggling, this one is gone and could regenerate the area and the excuse that it will cause more traffic does not hold up as there is a huge car park !! If other traders can't stand the competition that is down to them to deal with and maybe the co-op will bring better prices for local people !
so its the shop owners that are objecting not the people in the area that would benefit !! 25 new jobs and a good use for a building thats just sat there looking a mess,i know what i'd prefer !! there are just to many pubs in the area and most are struggling, this one is gone and could regenerate the area and the excuse that it will cause more traffic does not hold up as there is a huge car park !! If other traders can't stand the competition that is down to them to deal with and maybe the co-op will bring better prices for local people ! mia400

8:33am Fri 27 Dec 13

Jetwasher says...

Dont go expecting MP Chris Chope to help you out ...
Dont go expecting MP Chris Chope to help you out ... Jetwasher

8:57am Fri 27 Dec 13

Smudgersmiff says...

I say let the Co-op open a store, it will be bring more jobs to the area and there will be plenty of parking for customers. The local traders will not have a problem, if their products are competitively priced they should have no worries, the Co-op may bring a few more shoppers to the area.
I say let the Co-op open a store, it will be bring more jobs to the area and there will be plenty of parking for customers. The local traders will not have a problem, if their products are competitively priced they should have no worries, the Co-op may bring a few more shoppers to the area. Smudgersmiff

9:39am Fri 27 Dec 13

downmoor-ch63 says...

Jetwasher wrote:
Dont go expecting MP Chris Chope to help you out ...
OF COURSE HE WILL NOT HELP, HE IS AN MP, THEY VERY RARELY HELP, ESPECIALLY IN THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND.
[quote][p][bold]Jetwasher[/bold] wrote: Dont go expecting MP Chris Chope to help you out ...[/p][/quote]OF COURSE HE WILL NOT HELP, HE IS AN MP, THEY VERY RARELY HELP, ESPECIALLY IN THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND. downmoor-ch63

9:49am Fri 27 Dec 13

Telscombe Cliffy says...

Huey wrote:
I like a drink, but rarely go to the pub even though I would like to, because a couple of pints in a reasonable bar is going to cost about 6 or 7 pounds, for which you could get six 500ml cans.
The chancellor should lower the duty pubs have to pay on alcohol, and maybe make the supermarkets and shops pay a bit more.
The places like this would thrive once more, and I can spend more time up the pub.
I'd like to see the government ban alcohol in supermarkets, they can survive without it. Pubs and Off Licences only allowed to sell it. Would stop pubs closing. Also allow pubs to have a separate smoking room and non -smoking room inside, using smoking or non-smoking staff as appropriate.
[quote][p][bold]Huey[/bold] wrote: I like a drink, but rarely go to the pub even though I would like to, because a couple of pints in a reasonable bar is going to cost about 6 or 7 pounds, for which you could get six 500ml cans. The chancellor should lower the duty pubs have to pay on alcohol, and maybe make the supermarkets and shops pay a bit more. The places like this would thrive once more, and I can spend more time up the pub.[/p][/quote]I'd like to see the government ban alcohol in supermarkets, they can survive without it. Pubs and Off Licences only allowed to sell it. Would stop pubs closing. Also allow pubs to have a separate smoking room and non -smoking room inside, using smoking or non-smoking staff as appropriate. Telscombe Cliffy

10:04am Fri 27 Dec 13

richt says...

From experience of having lived near another Co-op food branch, there will be excessive noise disruption and no consideration for the local residents or businesses.
Echo, please can you provide details on how we can formally support or object to this proposal.
From experience of having lived near another Co-op food branch, there will be excessive noise disruption and no consideration for the local residents or businesses. Echo, please can you provide details on how we can formally support or object to this proposal. richt

10:33am Fri 27 Dec 13

richt says...

I believe this is the link to the planning application (no mention of Co-op but the address matches that of the Fairmile Hotel), however closing date for comments was 26/12 so I'm surprised this wasn't reported sooner?

http://webapps.chris
tchurch.gov.uk/Plann
ingApplications/page
s/ApplicationDetails
.aspx?Application=8/
13/0552&Authority=Ch
ristchurch%20Borough
%20Council
I believe this is the link to the planning application (no mention of Co-op but the address matches that of the Fairmile Hotel), however closing date for comments was 26/12 so I'm surprised this wasn't reported sooner? http://webapps.chris tchurch.gov.uk/Plann ingApplications/page s/ApplicationDetails .aspx?Application=8/ 13/0552&Authority=Ch ristchurch%20Borough %20Council richt

1:48pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Azphreal says...

'The Fairmile pub was forced to shut down in 2008' So why was i going there last year? If the residents were so bothered then maybe they should have used it and it could have stayed a local pub.
'The Fairmile pub was forced to shut down in 2008' So why was i going there last year? If the residents were so bothered then maybe they should have used it and it could have stayed a local pub. Azphreal

5:38pm Sat 28 Dec 13

Mike of Christchuch says...

I believe it would be a great shame if the Fairmile Public House were turned another large convenience store. I don't believe that we need another. We have several local shops who would probably go out of business if this pub became a Coop. There are plans for a new supermarket less than a mile away and there is a Tesco Express a Waitrose, Coop and M & S Food Store not far away. The Fairmile building itself is quite an iconic one on the way into Christchurch. It is a shame that it can't remain as a pub as there isn't one from the edge of Christchurch til the Station bridge. In the past the Fairmile has struggled to decide what kind of pub it wants to be but in my opinion with proper management it could become a very good pub and restaurant. I certainly don't want to see another Coop. We should support our local shopkeepers and stop this rush to build more and more mini supermarkets.
I believe it would be a great shame if the Fairmile Public House were turned another large convenience store. I don't believe that we need another. We have several local shops who would probably go out of business if this pub became a Coop. There are plans for a new supermarket less than a mile away and there is a Tesco Express a Waitrose, Coop and M & S Food Store not far away. The Fairmile building itself is quite an iconic one on the way into Christchurch. It is a shame that it can't remain as a pub as there isn't one from the edge of Christchurch til the Station bridge. In the past the Fairmile has struggled to decide what kind of pub it wants to be but in my opinion with proper management it could become a very good pub and restaurant. I certainly don't want to see another Coop. We should support our local shopkeepers and stop this rush to build more and more mini supermarkets. Mike of Christchuch

10:26pm Sun 29 Dec 13

russ1977 says...

Fully support i as a local resident.. None of the local shops are run well with good stock, offering value for money, excluding Bonafide Wines, which is fantastic.. I wish it was that useless Londis on St Catherines hill that was being turned in to a Co Op..!
Fully support i as a local resident.. None of the local shops are run well with good stock, offering value for money, excluding Bonafide Wines, which is fantastic.. I wish it was that useless Londis on St Catherines hill that was being turned in to a Co Op..! russ1977

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