Co–op food store plan for Baslow pub

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A village pub could be converted into a food store if Peak District chiefs approve a planning application.

New River Retail has bought the Rutland Arms, in Calver Road, Baslow, and is now seeking permission from the Peak District National Park Authority to convert it into a convenience store.

If approved, the proposed Co–operative food store would have an ATM machine as well as 13 car parking spaces. It would offer six full-time and 14 part-time jobs.

A spokesman for NewRiver Retail said: “The Rutland Arms, Baslow was acquired from Marston’s plc in late 2013 as part of a portfolio of 202 separate pubs that the company no longer wished to retain within its estate, largely due to historic underperformance. Over recent years, several different licensees have attempted to run this pub as a viable business. The figures for the last year show poor sales and it is clear the Rutland Arms is really struggling to survive in competition with other pubs in the village. Residents have been choosing to take their custom elsewhere.

“Recently, we concluded an agreement with the Co-operative Food to convert the pub into a modern convenience store. This will involve using the existing building with minimal changes. The new store will offer local people high quality fresh produce at great value and increase food shopping choice in the village. It will also create around 20 new jobs and offer training and skills programmes.

“We have taken steps to inform local residents about the plans and we have had a number of supportive comments. The plans will now be subject to the normal planning decision process.”

A report on the application, completed by agent Peter Brett Associates, states: “The Co-operative will develop on the application site one of its latest-format small convenience stores. These stores have an increased emphasis on fresh produce, including fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and bakery products and a wide range ofhigh-quality ready-prepared items.”

New River Retail is proposing the store would be open 7am to 11am Monday to Sunday, as well as bank holidays.

To view the application, visit www.peakdistrict.gov.uk, and search for planning reference ‘NP/DDD/0115/0040’.