Much-loved Chesterfield pub saved from supermarket conversion - for now

The Save Our Welly group will be raising a toast tonight.
The Save Our Welly group will be raising a toast tonight.

A campaign group say they will “celebrate in style” after a much-loved Chesterfield pub has been saved from being turned into a supermarket - for the time being.

NewRiver Retail, which owns The Wellington Hotel, High Street, New Whittington, has been considering “alternative uses” for the pub.

However, campaign group Save Our Welly has now received a letter from the property investor stating that it has now decided to maintain it as a pub.

Andrew Bell, who is part of the campaign group, said: “We are absolutely delighted.

“The pub is an extremely big part of the community.

“It has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and you get to know a lot of people in the community and make friends.”

A petition to save the pub received more than 1,800 signatures and got support from Chesterfield borough councillors and businesses in the area which were apparently concerned at the possibility of a supermarket moving nearby.

The group held a number of fundraising events, including a special bands night and a raffle. Members of the group also sent letters to Chesterfield Borough Council and set-up a Save Our Welly Facebook page.

In response to the support, borough councillors added the pub to its list of community value and also agreed to issue a measure which prevents development on the site without planning permission.

However, a letter sent to the Save Our Welly group by NewRiver chief executive, David Lockhart, on April 4, states the future of The Wellington will depend on future success.

It says: “The pub sector like any business sector requires ongoing treatment and it is NewRiver’s intention to invest in the Wellington, but its future success is very dependent upon an increase in custom from the local community. With New River’s investment and increase in custom, we hope the Wellington will have a successful future.”

Mr Bell said: “We remained optimistic throughout.

“It just shows that if you do get together, if you do campaign and get your voice heard then it can make a difference.”