Thursday, 1 April 2010

'No' to drinking establishment

This morning the Borough Council's Development Control committee, in an 8-4 vote, refused permission for the Corn Exchange's use to include "drinking establishment". Unless there is a successful appeal this would seem to rule out interest from pub chains such a Wetherspoons.

Whilst many of my electors will be delighted by this result, the one important merit of this application was the condition that the operation should close at 23.30 every night, including weekends. That would have gone a long way to reducing early-hours disturbance from the area. I hope a successful appeal or subsequent third party application doesn't mean later closing.

I know of some who will be disappointed by the decision. One pensioner who lives in the Historic Core gave me the following arguments in favour of Wetherspoons taking it on:

a. Only a company of that size has the money to put the building to good use.
b. I travel a great deal in the UK and see Wetherspoons everywhere I go, I must say that they run excellent pubs and employ a great number of people.
c. They are not just a cheap beer firm but provide good food and very reasonable prices, most of their trade is food related.
d. It cannot be said that they operate in cheap areas and lower the tone! some of their outlets are in the most select areas in the country. {suggest you look at their websites}
e. Bury has a lot of expensive restaurants but no places like a Wetherspoon pub that provides for everybody. If we are to continue to grow and bring in people from outside to the shops there must be the type of food and drink outlet that Wetherspoons provides. Where else can you get a good breakfast and a coffee for less than £4. in decent surroundings. I know people who go to Newmarket to shop not for the shops but they are able to get a good cheap meal in Wetherspoons. Many use their free bus pass.

The decision now leaves the Council with fewer options for disposing of the building, and rules out one that would have been financially beneficial to the council tax payer.


Bury Boy said...

The right decision in my opinion, and also in the mind of most of the local population by the sound of it. Of course there will be those with rose tinted glasses, and differences of opinion. A drinking establishment with or without cheap food, by a firm who pulled out of St Johns street because it was not big enougth or good enougth does not deserve a second oppitunity. Let alone the oppitunity to close down a number of existing competitive drinking and eating establishments, leading to a lower return to council in rates, rent etc.

It is fair to say the local unelected officials got us into this mess with the cattle market development and the Apex, at least our current crop of elected officials have the ability to see the folly and act.

Now if as you say the application had a 23.30 condition please explain why this very same condition can not now be applied to any new applications and introduced with notice to existing premises in say 9 months time.

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

Planning application conditions cannot be imposed retrospectively, but in theory any condition can be proposed by officers or at a hearing.

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

If the commenter who included obscenities would like to repeat his/her copmments without them I would be pleased to publish and try and respond.

Councillor Paul Farmer said...

To the above commenter who continuies to try to post offensive material: I don't understand why you think the SEBC website says this application was approved. It's site reads "This application was decided on 01-Apr-2010 and was PA - Refuse Reg 4 by SEBC (old reg 5)"

Don't worry, it was refused - I was there!