The long talked about plans for Wetherspoons to open a pub in Belper may be back on track. It was thought that their plans were derailed by numerous and onerous conditions being imposed by the planners but it appears the pub chain are back and pressing their proposals.
This may come as welcome news to CAMRA members locally as it would provide a venue nearer to home for them to use up their annual allocation of Wetherspoon’s vouchers. Neighbours, especially those on Cheapside, do not appear to be so happy and have genuine concerns about noise and being overlooked.
J D Wetherspoon have applied for Planning Permission for a change of use of 8 Strutt Street, Belper from retail (A1), Restaurant (A3) and office (B1) to a public house (A4 use) together with external alterations and installation of plant equipment and flues to rear.
J D Wetherspoon began trading in 1979. In support of their Planning Application they state that:
“Over time we have developed a sophisticated range of practices and procedures aimed at providing a safe and convivial environment in which the public may enjoy the wide range of facilities which we offer. The procedures that we have put in place are subject to constant review and improvement and are the result of careful consideration by our experienced team of directors, managers and professional advisors. Overall, our aim is to provide a distinctive kind of pub which attracts a broad range of customers. We aim to create the congenial atmosphere of the traditional pub combined with features found in modern cafés, restaurants and bars. We successfully achieve this through a combination of high-quality design, good management and the provision of an all-day menu and a range of quality products.”
There have been a number of responses to the proposals including these:
“I would like to state that I do not object to J. D. Wetherspoon renovating 8 Strutt Street and opening a pub, my objection is purely to the proposed extended opening times.”
“As a resident living in the town centre I must object to any extension. The 24hr garage opposite my house already suffers from rowdy, loud behaviour from customers who have just left the local pubs/clubs. We have had need to call the Police on MANY occasions. This extension could only worsen what is already a very troublesome situation.”
“I reckon we should consider the conditions laid down by the Planning Board back in August:
- 11.00 pm closing time,
- Beer Garden to shut at 9.00 pm,
- recognition of our being Listed Buildings in a World Heritage Town
- Visit by Inspectorate which resulted in recommendation of 11.00pm closure
- restricted limit on delivery hours to Wetherspoons.
There is also the recommendation made by AVBC Environmental Health Officer , Melanie Goodier, that there should be no development on Cheapside facing the residential properties (ie neither the Beer Garden nor a smoking area should be on Cheapside). She also recommended an 11.00pm closing time.”
One objector detailed concerns in depth:
“As far as we, the residents of Cheapside, are concerned, we have very real concerns about the proposed development with particular reference to late night opening hours and the construction of a Beer Garden on Cheapside. You will no doubt be aware of the concerns raised by objectors back in August 2015 and nothing has fundamentally changed to persuade us of the validity of any new proposal.
We are listed buildings in a heritage site and residential area and I think a Wetherspoons pub will be too noisy, especially with a late license and a beer garden. I have 2 young children (7 and 9) and am worried about the noise and inappropriate language and volume from people leaving the pub after having a few drinks. I am also worried about the loss of privacy if people can sit in the beer garden and drink looking in our front windows.
The main entrance and exit would need to be on Strutt street but there are 2 porched exits opposite our houses on Cheapside and I am concerned that customers would be using these to smoke, being noisy and antisocial which was the case when Bugsy’s was a nightclub there. The proposed beer garden will attract very little sun and it will be very difficult to manage noise levels in an open air area. The beer garden will be opposite my house.
There is very little parking in this area and I am concerned that customers will park where residents park i.e. the area outside the Ivy Cottages on Cheapside. Also there is no taxi rank in this area so it will be slow for late night customers to disperse.
Wetherspoons is a large pub chain which will need to constantly deliver food and alcohol to maintain stock levels and there are no parking/ drop off areas to do this as the proposed site is on a busy main road. The recycling bins are currently opposite our house and the noise of recycling glass will be intrusive.
Finally, I don’t think Belper needs another pub. The Green House on King Street offers very similar alcohol and meal deal options to Wetherspoons and is better placed for deliveries and in a non-residential area. I worry that Wetherspoons will put them out of business if successful, leaving another large unfilled unit.”
Nailed will be making sure you are the first to know what’s happening as the story progresses.
By David George