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Loyal locals join pub fight

By Katia Harston, Chief Reporter Friday 2nd May 2014
Paul Williams and Tracy Hawksworth

LOYAL locals at a Mapplewell pub have stepped up their fight to save it from demolition to make way for a Sainsbury's mini supermarket.

The King's Head, on Darton Lane, was put under threat in January when owner Punch Taverns submitted a planning application to flatten the pub and build a Sainsbury's Local in its place.

It was met with opposition from regulars and managers Paul Williams and Tracy Hawksworth who only took over in November.

Tracy, 43, said: "This pub has not been closed down and still has a loyal customer base and makes good weekly profits.

"It's sad that a pub still popular in the village should fall victim to yet another large supermarket chain, not to mention all the small local shops and businesses that it will have a huge impact on."

A petition has been set up with copies in the pub and shops around the village.

A Punch Taverns spokeswoman said it had agreed a deal with a food retailer.

"As a pub company, we are not in the business of closing and selling pubs," she said. "Unfortunately, after a review of our estate, the King's Head did not prove a viable business for us and so we have explored other opportunities and considered how the property might better fulfil its potential within the local community."

A Sainsbury's spokeswoman confirmed it is the retailer involved and up to 25 jobs could be created.