Friday, December 8, 2023

Belper Wetherspoons back on track?

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

5 thoughts on “Belper Wetherspoons back on track?

  • Julie Cartledge

    Why dont Wetherspoons try to rent part of the old mill . Not only would it save the place from further decline but there would be no problems with parking. It’s not a residential area , also they would get passing trade from the A6.

  • I do have a couple of commercial to on this 1st if your bothered about people looking in your windows close your curtains

    2nd there is plenty of parking everywhere just because that is what you would do if you went somewhere and park as close as possible dosent mean any one else will there is parking on derwent Street parking on the coppice and the Co op even closer and just off king Street is the field lane car park so parking within 2 minutes of the door in 3 different directions even so if your drinking you shouldn’t need to park anyway

    3rd I don’t see why having a weatherspoons will put the greenhouse out of business and it it does then we’ll done weatherspoons they run a better business

    4th belper night life has taken a significant dive in recent years Saturday night is almost silent now days so I really don’t think noise will be an issue and for late night customers they all go to the market place for a takeaway to wait for their taxi anyway

    5th as for being “antisocial” I hate the use of this word it’s grossly miss used. People go out to smoke and have a chat with friends this is done at the black Swan at the cross keys at the rifleman and at the nags head the noise is never too bad.

    6th and finally development of a smoking area or beer garden this is a good idea and I understand not wanting a group of people standing across from your house however the entrance can not be put on strutt Street as there are shops there already however people will smoke wherever the entrance is so it really makes no difference because if the entrance was on strutt Street you would be blocking the pavement so would still end up round the corner opposite cheapie


  • Hi Julie you have a verry good point this would put a bit of life back into the old Mill and would help as repairs are needed however development is limited in the mill so I’m unsure how effective this would be
    However I still think it’s a cracking idea

  • Apologies for the spelling and grammar

  • Steve Turpin

    There are pros and cons to Wetherspoons. I wouldn’t really want plant and extraction fans near my house, but to be fair Spoons are usually well run and don’t cause too many problems. The Green House has deafening music, big screens, and really average food, and anyway I don’t think it’d be too affected by a Spoons. As for Belper having too many pubs, it’s got a damn sight fewer than it had when I moved here 29 years ago! Wetherspoons also cater for families, you can get a pretty good meal at a really reasonable price. I was at the Mill today and was thinking that parts of it would make a stunning pub with a flat roof terrace! Sadly I can’t see that happening as the current owners seem determined to run the place into the ground, a fate being shared by the old buildings on the Silkolene site. So much for World Heritage status.

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