THE tenants of a historic Uttoxeter pub-restaurant are making one last push for support to save their home and business from being bulldozed.
Landlord Trust Inns’ outline planning application for 28 homes on land occupied by Inn on the Parks is to be discussed by planners in the new year.
If ratified, the project would eventually see the thriving business’ building, which has stood for more than a century, torn down.
This would leave 25 workers from in and around Uttoxeter - including owners Paul and Helen Wood - without a job.
The Woods, whose son, Dan, is a chef at the Parks, would also lose their home.
Now, with more than 2,500 diners booked in during December, the family is looking for a final push to get more signatures on a petition against the housing project.
It has already yielded nearly 3,000 signatures and a residents’ protest group has been set up by homeowners in nearby Tunnicliffe Way.
Mrs Wood told the Post and Times the loss of jobs, woodland, heritage and protected wildlife is ‘not worth’ 28 homes.
She said: “With the thousands of houses planned in town over the next 20 years, 28 homes is a comparatively-small number.
“We’re a thriving business - we’re almost completely booked up for December already - and I think it would be terrible if that was lost.
“Not only do we offer local people high-quality dining they can’t get anywhere else in town, but we bring people in from out of town.
“We have people coming in from Stoke, Ashbourne, Derby and all over the place.
“One guy makes a 50-mile round trip every week to have lunch here.
“It would be incredibly hard to tell our staff, many of whom have young families to support, that they need to find a new job for the sake of 28 houses.”
Mr Wood said great-crested newts, a protected species, had been spotted on the land surrounding the Parks.
He also alluded to the ‘important history’ of the building.
He said: “I can’t believe there’s no preservation order on this place.
“The Bamford family used to live here and it’s a real piece of the town’s heritage.
“The family crest is still present in the building and a lot of our customers remember coming to here to play when they were children.
“With the 700-home development to the west of Uttoxeter being quite close to us, we can serve those homes and it would be a fantastic opportunity for us.
“But we fear that could be taken away.”
The petition is available to sign at the New Road establishment, which can be contacted by calling 01889 562071.