Proposals for new Wetherspoon's pub at resort labelled 'unacceptable'
PUBLISHED: 06:00 26 May 2019
Community leaders have rejected fresh proposals for a new town centre pub in Felixstowe - because the latest plans will impact unfairly on nearby residents.
JD Wetherspoon's scheme for the site of the old Central Surgery in Hamilton Road is the company's fifth set of plans for the land - though this time dramatically scaled down.
However, the big difference - and a major frustration for town councillors - is that the designs show the building has been turned round and will not face into Great Eastern Square.
It has been hoped Wetherspoons would take advantage of the open square as a nice vista for drinkers, perhaps a place for entertainment, but the company has decided to face the pub onto the road with outside seating in its beer garden onto High Road East, next to the Co-op filling station and busy roundabout.
Felixstowe Town Council says this is "unacceptable" and is recommending East Suffolk Council refuses the application.
The town council, which supports the principle of a public house on the site, said the current proposals "do not make good use of the site and appear to have been developed in isolation with no real understanding of how the pub will relate to its surroundings".
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It said: "In particular, the orientation of the pub will be severely detrimental to residential amenity to its neighbours on High Road West with its proposed beer garden to the north. It is critical that no opening fenestrations or doors be approved to the northern elevation. Committee believes that these issues can be easily overcome by a reorientation of the design, which it otherwise welcomes.
"Committee notes that previous proposals submitted by the application have demonstrated that it is eminently possible to configure the public house so that its main entrance faces Great Eastern Square, maximising this sunny aspect and presenting a positive interface with this public square."
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. It will create 50 new jobs.
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."
The company's previous plans over the past five years have included 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.
Permission for a pub has already been granted - despite enormous opposition from residents in the area to the earliest applications, with people 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.