PUNTERS at a popular York pub are today launching a fresh bid to keep their local open.

Regulars at The Punch Bowl, in Lowther Street, The Groves, have already raised 1,000 signatures to keep it open and prevent owners Enterprise Inns from striking a deal with Tesco.

Current planning laws state a company does not need planning permission to turn pubs into con - venience stores or supermarkets.

To prevent Tesco going ahead with their plans, the customers, along with members of York’s Campaign for Real Ale branch, are appealing to City of York Council to grant an Article 4 Direction to ensure Tesco would have to apply for planning permission.

The document would not stop the supermarket going ahead, but cam - paigners feel it would give them time to drum up support.

Nick Love, from the York branch of CAMRA, is helping the pub.

He said: “We are going to put a very strong case to the council.”

Campaigners hoped to speak to the authority’s cabinet tonight but their plea will now not be heard until October 7.

Jonathan Carr, head of Develop - ment Services and Regeneration at City of York Council, said: “The possible change of use to retail is permitted by national planning legislation. A proposal to remove this right needs to be carefully considered.

“If an ‘immediate’ Article 4 Di - rection is granted and any applica - tions for planning permission are subsequently refused, or granted subject to restrictive conditions, compensation could be claimed and this would be payable by the council.”

Neither Tesco nor Enterprise Inns would comment at this stage.