Will this version of Wetherspoon’s vision for Felixstowe get built?
PUBLISHED: 11:16 27 April 2019
Plan number FIVE has been submitted for a new pub in Felixstowe town centre – but it still won’t make everyone happy
JD Wetherspoon's has submitted yet another new application for the site of the old Central Surgery in Hamilton Road – this time dramatically-scaled down.
But while many people will respond with less horror than to the huge previous projects proposed, the latest scheme does not face into Great Eastern Square, missing a brilliant opportunity to make use of this neglected open space.
Felixstowe Town Council's planning and environment committee will give its views on Wednesday, May 1, to the application, which simply states it will be for a pub.
It will create 50 new jobs.
The company's previous two applications were for much larger development of the site, which stands on a roundabout junction next to Great Eastern Square and opposite the resort's well-known Orwell Hotel.
Plans for both a spectacular four-storey building including a pub and a 50-room hotel, submitted earlier this year, and a five-storey property containing a pub and 24 apartments, which went to the council planners last year, were both withdrawn.
No reason has been given for the decision to abandon the plans.
JD Wetherspoon has been trying to develop the site since 2014 and has been granted permission for a pub already – despite enormous opposition from residents in the area to the earliest applications.
People living nearby were worried about a number of issues, including the pub's nearness to Fairfield Infant school, late-night noise from people walking home, and extra traffic and parking in an already busy area.
The flats plan generated more than 100 objections – among them from the conservation group The Felixstowe Society, which described the proposal as “too large, high and unsympathetic to the characterful buildings surrounding the site” and “overbearing to the street scene”, as large as the Orwell Hotel.
The main sticking point with councillors was that – apart from the hotel plan – the pub was consistently planned to face the street rather than into Great Eastern Square, where customers could sit outside in nice surroundings and face onto the square, where entertainment and other activities could take place.
The new plan also faces the pub onto the road and has outside seating onto busy High Road East, next to the Co-op filling station and the busy roundabout.
There is no guarantee that the current plans will succeed – but Wetherspoon is keen to get the project in the bustling resort off the ground as soon as possible.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are keen to open a pub in Felixstowe and believe it will be a great asset to the town and act as a catalyst for further investment in the town.”