Pub landlord’s anger at plans for demolition

Andy Simmons at The Ploughman  Picture by Terry Harris / Peterborough Telegraph. THA
Andy Simmons at The Ploughman Picture by Terry Harris / Peterborough Telegraph. THA
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A furious pub landlord has called for a boycott of Tesco after he accused the supermarket chain of selling his premises to a developer who will demolish it to build flats.

Andy Simmonds, manager of The Ploughman in Staniland Way, Werrington, for the past decade said he will fight to keep hold of his pub, even if it means going to court.

The Ploughman is based at the Werrington Centre and is owned by Tesco which also has its own store there.

Mr Simmonds, a civic award winner for his charity fundraising, said Tesco had told him it was selling his pub which would then be demolished. He added: “It’s my business, my livelihood, my home. It’s an absolute blow for Werrington.

“Tesco is 100 per cent to blame for the death of the centre. I urge people not to use Tesco but to use the new Lidl.

“We will fight until the last minute. They have bailiffs - we have bigger bailiffs.”

In July 2013 Tesco shelved a multi-million pound scheme to revamp the centre.

A spokesperson for the chain said it was in negotiations with a developer who would provide a new pub at the site. He added: “We understand the existing pub occupier will have the opportunity to bid on the new pub facility.”

Tesco has already confirmed its store will remain at the centre.

MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya said Tesco did not appear to have invested in the centre as promised.

She added: “I advised Andy to seek independent legal advice as he has been continuously paying rent under the terms of his lease and no notice was previously served which doesn’t seem right.”

Werrington city councillor John Fox said: “We want regeneration of the centre, we don’t want flats. I would hate to lose a community pub - it’s a great asset.”