Town's fears over pub chain's bid

THE opening of a national pub known for selling alcohol at cheap rates could see hundreds of drunken revellers spilling on to the streets of a Suffolk town, it was warned last night.

THE opening of a national pub known for selling alcohol at cheap rates could see hundreds of drunken revellers spilling on to the streets of a Suffolk town, it was warned last night.

Plans for a JD Wetherspoon pub in Sudbury could be just months away from being realised after a licensing application - outlining plans to open for 16 hours a day - was submitted.

The pub chain's bid has been a source of widespread concern within the town since a planning application was approved last year.

And there was fresh concern when it was revealed earlier this year that the pub would be a livelier Lloyds No 1 Bar, under the Wetherspoon banner.


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Concerned community leaders last night warned of potential anti-social problems if the alcohol license was granted for the pub in North Street.

Nick Irwin, the longest serving publican in Sudbury, said the new bar could lead to the demise of several historic pubs in the town.

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“I am worried about the town and the potential trouble in the town that a pub with up to 800 people could cause,” Mr Irwin said.

“I think publicans have a duty to be responsible in the community they serve and we could have hundreds of people spilling out on to the streets with only a few officers to deal with them.”

Sudbury mayor Lesley Ford-Platt added: “I do feel the site is inappropriate and I am concerned at the loss of another retail unit, especially in North Street,

“I also share the concerns about late night disturbance in that area and I feel for the local residents. I know there are also fears from publicans about the competition but there also people in the town who think it could be a good thing.”

Under the plans, the national chain want to open the bar from 9am until midnight between Sunday and Thursday, and closing at 1am on Friday and Saturday.

A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon said: “We have to have planning and licensing applications before we can start work on the site.

“Wetherspoon's are keen to open a pub in Sudbury and we have put forward our case to the council.

“It is now up to them whether to grant us this licensing application. Although we do not have a time limit of when we might open, it is our policy to open a pub or bar within a decent period of time after council approval - we are talking months rather than years.”

Babergh District Council's licensing sub-committee will discuss the application at their meeting on May 3.

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