Punters fume as ‘Pub of the Year’ to be knocked down and turned into a Starbucks

Locals are furious after it was revealed an award-winning pub is set to be knocked down and replaced with a branch of US coffee shop chain Starbucks.

The Bridge Inn in Chadsmoor, Staffordshire was voted as Pub of the Year in April by the Cannock Chase Campaign for Real Ale.

But despite that, the Cannock Chase Council approved plans for it to be turned into a Starbucks on Thursday (August 4).

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It is unclear why the pub is being replaced, and it remains open as of today (Monday, August 8).

The new plans will see a new car park built at the back, with an extension to the property at the front and side of it – it will also have a drive-thru lane, and car and cycle parking.

And it is the drive-thru lane which has angered some residents.

Jenny Gough, who lives near the pub, told the committee meeting: “One of the roads is the main Cannock road and I can’t see it not causing any congestion.

“Traffic will be queuing for the drive-thru.

“The second issue is the potential noise that would result from the traffic if there are engines ticking over, revving, starting and stopping.

“This is supposedly going to be open (7am) to 11pm every day of the year.”

Other objections involved fears around anti-social behaviour while some locals are concerned that the area will end up covered in litter.

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Many also said that a pub should “not be replaced” by a coffee shop when the local area has many of the latter already.

However, Councillor Alan Pearson said: “I never like to see a pub closed but unfortunately things have changed since lockdown.

“It has totally changed how we think about society and people are drinking at home now.

“I cannot see any reason why we could say no to it.”

And fellow councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald said: "It is good for our mental health and well-being to meet in places. I think it is an excellent idea.”

No opening date for the new Starbucks has been set, and the pub is still open.

The Daily Star has contacted the pub's management for comment.

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