Felixstowe’s Wetherspoon pub project goes to an appeal

Concerns about impact pub will have on Great Eastern Square

Concerns about impact pub will have on Great Eastern Square - Credit: Archant

A Government-appointed planning inspector is being asked to decide a row over the size of a proposed new £2.6million JD Wetherspoon pub in Felixstowe town centre.

The company has already been granted permission for the project – but was then refused consent when it applied for larger premises on the same site.

Suffolk Coastal rejected the two-storey development because it would exacerbate unacceptably problems of outlook, noise and the closeness to homes in High Road West compared with the previously approved scheme and would be against policy.

While Felixstowe Town Council had no objection to the principle of a public house on the site, is was also concerned at the effect on the infant school and residents in High Road West and said the design could have “unacceptable consequential effects”, causing disturbance to people nearby.

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

However, JD Wetherspoon – which could press ahead with the original approved plan – did not want to alter the building to make it face the market square and also wanted the slightly larger premises.

It has now lodged an appeal against Suffolk Coastal’s decision and will not make a final decision on its project until the outcome is known.

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The Planning Inspectorate said there would not be a public inquiry into the matter, which would be dealt with by written representations.

People have until June 23 to send in their objections or support.

Suffolk Coastal received 64 objections to the plans to demolish the old Central Surgery in Hamilton Road and replace it with the new pub.

Householders’ worries include late-night noise, the increased size and siting of the proposed beer garden, potential opening hours of 7am to 1am every day, lack of car parking, and the impact on nearby Fairfield Infant School.

Harrison Ince Architects, for JD Wetherspoon, said the aim was to “create new commercial accommodation that meets the needs of modern leisure businesses in a traditional setting” and promote future investment in Felixstowe.