THE battle is stepping up to save a Victorian pub in South Tyneside from demolition.
There are fears last orders could be called at The Roadhouse in Victoria Road West, Hebburn, which is on the market for £165,000.
South Tyneside Council is bidding to buy the property as part of the ambitious £12m Hebburn hub regeneration scheme.
But management and regulars at the pub are fighting to save one of the area’s oldest watering holes, which has been part of the fabric of the town for more than 100 years.
A petition containing more than 800 names will be presented to Hebburn councillors on Monday, as part of the campaign to prevent the pub from being bulldozed.
Tenant Tracey Nesbitt said: “There is a lot of local support to keep The Roadhouse open.
“We are trying to get the pub classed as a community asset.
“We’re still up and running, when many pubs have gone.
“But as it stands, if The Roadhouse closes, me and my staff could only be given 28 days’ notice to leave and I don’t know where we stand.”
The pub is run by LT Pub Management on behalf of the now defunct Anglo Irish Bank, and South Tyneside Council has confirmed it is attempting to acquire the pub as part of the Hebburn hub scheme, which could include the possibility of its demolition.
The petition to save The Roadhouse will be presented to a meeting of Hebburn Community Area Forum, at The Iona Club in Station Road, Hebburn, at 10am on Monday.
Mrs Nesbitt added: “I certainly plan to speak at the meeting, and ask councillors to listen to us and help save the pub.”
But Coun John McCabe, vice-chairman of the Hebburn forum, said: “While we appreciate this pub keeps Tracey and her staff in employment, our powers are extremely limited in this matter. The pub is one of many affected when the Anglo Irish Bank went out of business.
“It’s difficult to see how we could set a precedent and try and save The Roadhouse, which is a commercial venture, when so many other pubs have closed.”
Members of the public are invited to attend Monday’s meeting.