Diss: Backing for JD Wetherspoon pub plan, with reservations over noise

PLANS for a new JD Wetherspoon pub in Diss have been backed by councillors, although not without concerns raised about noise and the safety of customers.

Diss Town Council has supported the chain’s plan to open the new 6,000sq ft pub and restaurant at King’s Head Yard off Mere Street in a building to be built by landlord Joe Darrell.

However, some councillors were concerned the scheme had been described as a restaurant when it should have been a pub, while others were worried that if the pub secured a licence to open late there could be noise disturbing nearby residents until 2-3am.

Another worry was that the pub’s close proximity to the town’s mere could result in drunken revellers jumping in the water, endangering their safety.

The pub company, which owns 860 outlets across the country, has applied for permission for a mezzanine floor to create two levels within the building and has chosen to open the pub in Diss because it believes the town is suited to the type of pub that is being planned.

Mr Darrell secured planning permission for the restaurant four years ago, but a further planning application is needed for the mezzanine floor.

The premises will take up part of an existing car park at the King’s Head Yard site and will feature French doors leading to an outdoor paved area where customers can enjoy views of the mere.

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Inside, Mr Darrell said, there would be an upstairs section on the mezzanine floor, which is similar to a balcony, and a downstairs section with a dining area on each level within the two-storey building.

Mr Darrell said the car park, which has been leased by the landlord, would close except for a few spaces left for neighbouring residents.

He added that provision would also be made on the pub site for a potential new walkway proposed by Diss Town Council crossing the mere from behind the council’s offices in Hales Yard to King’s Head Yard.