Sunday, 27 February 2011

J.D.Wetherspoon - LATEST...

Friday 4th March. Now available. No wonder it took a while to appear!

Thursday 3rd March. The applications for the Corn Exchange should be registered by 5pm today and available to view on the Steds website. The application Numbers are SE/11/0187, SE/11/0190 and SE/11/0191.

I have decided to ask the borough council’s Development Control committee, which will look at the planning application, to limit the hours of operation until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and 11pm the rest of the week – in each case at least an hour earlier than the applicant has requested. I will also ask the Licensing Committee to endorse these hours, and propose a condition that would see smokers banned from the front steps, with door staff if necessary to supervise its enforcement.

There are very mixed feelings in my ward about Wetherspoon’s taking over the Corn Exchange as a pub. Some would like themselves and families to be able to benefit from competitive food and drink prices; others are worried about the impact a giant pub will have on the town centre at night, including the viability of smaller long established outlets. It will be hard to support both groups. Rather than simply oppose the planning and licensing applications, I want to concentrate on ensuring that this venture meets as many needs as possible.

Unusually, I will be putting my views separately to both the Development Control and Licensing committees when they hear Wetherspoon’s applications over the coming weeks, something that has only been possible following recent changes to statutory guidance.

I believe it is important that cheap alcohol should not be available to such large numbers of drinkers late at night, as this might lead to noise or other disturbance in the immediate partly residential area.

Watch this space for my reaction to the planning and licensing applications...

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