SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is set to take over a second York pub, despite opposition to its plans for another local less than a mile away.

The retailer wants to convert The Corner House in Burton Stone Lane, which is owned by Marston's Brewery.

There is already controversy over Tesco's plans for The Punch Bowl at the top of The Groves, where 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for the pub to be kept open.

Campaigners also want a change in the law, so pubs cannot be converted without planning permission and community consultation.

Existing traders in Burton Stone Lane today gave a mixed reaction to the new plans.

Paul Ryan, manager of Bubbles general store, said: “It’s going to be bad for me. I already have competition from Sainsbury’s and if Tesco move in as well then they will have a price war and I will be caught in the middle.

"Small businesses don’t get a look in at all when that happens. I can’t see the point of putting a Tesco there at all.”

Mike Knowles, director of Jack Chapman’s Butchers Ltd, said: “I think a Tesco would have more of an impact on Sainsbury’s. It might even bring more people along here. You don’t know how it will pan out, it could go either way really because it’s quite a big site.

“For us it’s been a good year this year, better than the previous couple of years and it’s definitely going the right way. We will just have to wait and see.”

A spokeswoman for Marston's Brewery would only say: "A contract has been exchanged with Tesco."

National planning law currently means pubs can be converted into a wide range of businesses, or demolished, without planning permission or community consultation.

Tesco has had to submit a licensing application because it wants to sell alcohol, but such applications are not routinely publicised except on posters immediately outside the premises concerned.

The Campaign for Real Ale recently launched its Pubs Matter campaign, calling for such planning "loopholes" to be closed. It says 31 pubs a week close in the UK, and two a week become supermarkets.

It wants the Government to rule that planning permission is always needed before a pub can be converted or demolished.

City of York Council's cabinet will be asked next Tuesday to place an "Article 4 direction" on The Punch Bowl, which would mean it could not be converted without planning permission. (See item 10 on the cabinet agenda here)

Nick Love from York Camra said: "Weak planning law let's this happen without restriction. As part of the campaign, Camra is lobbying for a change in the law to stop this insidious disease that will permanently close hundreds of valued community assets."