Stowmarket: Wine bar opens in Old Fox Yard despite opposing petition

A NEW wine bar has opened in a town despite a petition containing more than 70 names opposing the move being sent to Mid Suffolk District Council.

Winchester’s Wine Bar and Bistro opened in Stowmarket’s Old Fox Yard last week with the owners saying that it would offer “a friendly ambience and focus on quality wines and food.”

But the petition argues that a new wine bar would ‘increase the risk of anti social behaviour, drunkenness, noise pollution, property damage and a further drain on police resources.’

The petition document was sent to Mid Suffolk as part of the planning process as the owners, Wendy and Allan Winchester, had to apply to change the classified use of the premises from a shop, to a mixed use of retail, wine bar and bistro.

Despite the petition, the planning permission was officially approved on May 28.

Mid Suffolk’s professional lead officer Philip Isbell said: “Consideration was given to the uses proposed and the scale of the development and its potential to assist in bringing economic prosperity to Stowmarket town centre.

“Careful consideration had been taken to assess the impact on the amenity of the area and conditions were imposed to adequately control the development.”

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Newly-elected town mayor Anne Whybrow officially opened the bar last Thursday, and she said: “It is excellent to see a new and different business in the town which will add positively to both the day and night time economy.”

As well as drinks, Winchester’s will also offer a range of tapas style food and a gallery space for local artists to exhibit their work.

The premises was formerly used by House of Flowers, who have moved to nearby Ipswich Street in the town.

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