More trouble in store for Wetherspoon pub plan – latest design set for refusal
PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 April 2020
Proposals for a new pub in Felixstowe town centre are set to be refused again – following criticism of the venue’s design.
National pub company JD Wetherspoon submitted a sixth set of plans for a new pub on the site of the old Central Surgery in Hamilton Road but planners are not happy, saying it is not in keeping with the historic buildings nearby.
The site stands on Great Eastern Square next to the grade two listed former railway station and opposite the Victorian Orwell Hotel.
The company has now amended the plans with a seventh proposal – but planners say it is still a “poor design” and not sympathetic to its surroundings.
On Tuesday, April 21 the plans will go before East Suffolk Council’s planning advisory panel south, where officers will recommend refusal.
Planning case officer Natalie Webb said the council accepted the principle of building a pub on the site and is now happy that it will face into the 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”
Architects acting for JD Wetherspoon said they had taken into account concerns of community leaders and planners in designing a two-storey pub.
KD Paine & Associates Ltd’s (KDPA) submitted plans for a pub on two floors, with a beer garden on the ground floor and a terrace on the first floor.
KDPA said: “The proposal will revitalise a derelict site with a landmark building and offer a refreshment and dining on a public square at the entrance of the town.
“We believe it would be a positive step for the site and the area as whole.”
With the Orwell Hotel, the development had the potential to create a landmark “gateway” entrance to the commercial centre of town.
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.