Licensee Carol Ross said she was ‘gobsmacked and upset’ by the decision to sell the pub and questioned why the pub doesn’t qualify as part of Punch’s ‘core’ estate despite its success.
“It’s a great pub, I make them a lot of money. We’ve been in the Good Pub Guide and we’re award winning.
Ross had been trying to buy the pub’s freehold and had planned to opt for the market rent only option next year-something she will be no longer be able to do, as NewRiver Retail will under 500 pubs, the threshold needed to qualify for MRO.
Campaigners hope they will be joined by fellow licensees at the protest, which will take place on Saturday 12 September.
NewRiver property director Allan Lockheart told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser that the ‘vast majority’ of the 158 sites will remain as pubs, despite licensees fears of development.
The company has also stressed that there are currently no plans to change the use of the Roscoe Head.