Controversial Wetherspoon pub plans withdrawn just days before decision
PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 April 2020
Hopes of a new “gateway” development at the entrance to Felixstowe town centre have been dashed again – after the latest plans for a Wetherspoon’s pub were withdrawn.
Councillors were due to discuss the plans today when it was suddenly revealed they had been cancelled four days earlier.
But the national pub company JD Wetherspoon says it is still determined to build on the site – and is set to work on new plans.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “ The company is as keen as ever to open a pub in Felixstowe.
“It believes it will be an asset to the area and also act as a catalyst for further investment into the town.
“We will look at the design once more with the intention of resubmitting the application in due course.”
Following criticism of the “poor” design, East Suffolk Council’s planning advisory panel south were being recommended to refuse the project.
The council said: “This application has been formally withdrawn at the request of the applicant.”
It was the sixth set of plans submitted by Wetherspoon for a new pub on the site of the old Central Surgery in Hamilton Road, and despite the plans being altered during the application consultation conservation experts at the council were still not happy.
They said the plans were not in keeping with nearby historic buildings – the grade two listed former railway station next door and the Victorian Orwell Hotel opposite – and not sympathetic to its surroundings.
Wetherspoon aimed to create a landmark “gateway” entrance to the town.
Planning case officer Natalie Webb said the council accepted the principle of building a pub on the site and was now happy that it would face into Great Eastern Square to bring the public space alive.
She said: “However, in reviewing the amended plans, it is acknowledged that the scheme has been tweaked, but has not gone far enough to address the concerns previously expressed.
“This building has clearly been designed from the inside out with generic internal arrangements taking precedence over the external appearance of the scheme and the context of the site.”
Officers still had “overriding design concerns which deem the application unacceptable”
Wetherspoon has said that it intends to build the project – which will create 50 new jobs – this year.
Its previous schemes for the site have included a five-storey contemporary block of 24 apartments with a pub on the ground floor, various pub designs and a spectacular four-storey building including a pub and a 50-room hotel.