By Jo Roche
Earlier this month, with less than 3 hours’ notice, more than 150 villagers gathered outside The Ship in Whitemans Green to protest at the Co-op’s plans to convert the pub into a supermarket and close the existing High Street store. The pub was sold in May to publicans from Lingfield who had led us to believe that they would be reopening by the end of the year. It was with considerable dismay to suddenly find notices posted on the building advising that the Co-op had applied for an off-licence for alcohol sales as part of a supermarket in the building. Add to this the news that they have not renewed their lease in the High Street and you can see the whole landscape and dynamic of the village being changed in one fell swoop by one large corporate.
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