£2.6m town centre pub given go-ahead

Felixstowe's Central Surgery - to be demolished to make way for a Wetherspoon pub

Felixstowe's Central Surgery - to be demolished to make way for a Wetherspoon pub - Credit: Archant

Building work on a new JD Wetherspoon pub in Felixstowe could start soon after the company won a planning appeal.

It had been granted permission for the project, but was refused consent when it applied for larger premises on the same site.

While the original scheme could have gone ahead, it decided to press for the second scheme and challenged Suffolk Coastal council’s refusal.

The council rejected the two-storey development because it would exacerbate unacceptable problems of outlook and noise for people living in High Road West compared with the previously approved scheme.

While Felixstowe Town Council had no objection to a pub on the site, it was also concerned at the effect on the infant school and residents and said the design could have “unacceptable consequential effects”, causing disturbance to people nearby.

It also suggested the pub should be built facing Great Eastern Square, which would help overcome the problems and enhance the square.

In the appeal report, the inspector J Flack said issues such as the principle of development, suitability of the site for a pub, and which way the building should face had been dealt with on the original plan, leaving the key issue the effect on the living conditions of adjacent residents.

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The inspector said: “Whilst it is at the edge of the town centre, it is nevertheless a location where residents must expect adjacent uses to generate more noise than would be the case in a purely residential area.

“It is also the case that High Road West and Hamilton Road are very busy roads which generate a good deal of traffic noise.”

Any noise from within the building could be adequately controlled and “would not have an unacceptably detrimental effect” on nearby residents.

Tony Fryatt, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member with responsibility for planning, said: “Although we must respect the planning inspector’s decision on this issue, we are obviously disappointed.

“This application was examined in detail by the council’s development management committee, and considerable weight was given to the concerns of local residents when it rejected this application. Hopefully, this development will bring a vibrant new venue into Felixstowe.”