Villagers are banding together to save their local shop and pub after finding out a developer wants to turn it into a Co-op.
Baslow residents set up the Save Our Shop campaign after learning that New River Retail had submitted a planning application to the Peak District National Park Authority for permission to turn the Rutland Arms, in Calver Road, into a Co-op food store.
Kate Poole, of the campaign group, said: “We don’t want a Co-op we don’t feel we need one.”
She added: “The impact of Co-op coming in would result in our local family-run shop closing.”
She explained that the Spar shop, in School Lane, Baslow, had been run by the same family for many years and employed local people.
“New River Retail have said they are going to create 20 jobs, but nine people are going to lose their jobs at the Spar if they move in,” Kate said.
She said the current village shop also houses the Post Office, so if it closed down the village would lose that as well, adding that a new Co-op was likely to have a knock-on effect at the Spar in Calver as well, which sells produce from local suppliers such as bread, milk and meat.
“It’s going to have a ripple effect,” Kate continued.
She claimed there were other issues to consider as well, such as an increase in traffic on Calver Road, which she said was already dangerous, and the fact that the Rutland Arms is an historic building dating back more than 200 years and it is attached to Baslow Bridge, which is grade one listed and needs to be protected.
Kate continued: “We want to save our pub but know it has been sold to New River Retail.”
She said she thought the pub had been struggling because it was tied to Marston’s brewery, and the price of beer was high, making it hard for landlords to make ends meet.
“People moved to the village and the country to get away from that corporate society,” Kate said. “I moved here because I wanted to go to my local shop and for me to know them and them to know me.
“I think a lot of that would be lost if Co-op moved here.”
The Save Our Shop group has its own Facebook page, which can be found by searching for ‘Baslow SOS’ on www.facebook.com. You can also follow @BaslowSOS on Twitter.
Kate explained the group is hoping the campaign will put pressure on Peak Park to refuse the planning application, which can be found on the planning section of the authority’s website under the reference ‘NP/DDD/0115/0040’. She urged readers to write to their local councillors to protect their village amenities.