New Wetherspoon plan in the spotlight

Thursday 29th January 2015 12:00 am
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A PUB chain's revised plans for the former Browns Hotel building in Tavistock have been supported by the town council.

Last Tuesday, during a full meeting of Tavistock Town Council, members discussed the plans submitted by JD Wetherspoon.

The chain bought the hotel and restaurant on West Street in June last year and three months later submitted an application for a ground floor extension to enlarge the customer area and proposed internal alterations.

The plans were not supported by the town council and criticised by John Taylor, prominent town resident and chairman of Tavistock Townscape Heritage Project, who had previously voiced his concerns over the lack of architectural merit in the plans of an 'important, historic, Listed coaching inn'.

The applicant withdrew its applications in December last year and this month JD Wetherspoon submitted its revised plans.

The revised plans for 79-80 West Street are ground floor extension to enlarge the customer area and relocate kitchens with outdoor seating at first floor level; and Listed building applications for a ground floor extension, internal alterations and alterations to curtilage building at rear.

Councillors agreed that as it was a major application, it was appropriate for full council to consider the plans rather than the small plans committee.

Cllr Brian Trew said: 'We shouldn't be against business in the town. We are not a museum and if we become a museum then we are going to kill the town.'

Cllr Julia Whitcomb, chairman of the town council's plans committee, said: 'It's a good thing for the town. I can't see anything wrong with this application.'

Cllr John Sellis said: 'I think what they have done would get my vote. Wetherspoon is a well-run organisation and saying West Street will be like Union Street was absolutely ridiculous [Times, October 30]. I think it will be an asset to the town.'

Cllr Colin Rogers, deputy chair of the plans committee, said: 'I voted against this in the first instance, but I think it is a fit-for-purpose plan and I believe it should go forward.'

Cllr Ann Johnson said: 'There were aspects of the planning application that members didn't like, not Wetherspoons. That area needs something and I think it will greatly improve West Street.'

The council has recommended to West Devon Borough Council's planning committee that the application be supported. The borough will consider the proposals in the coming months.

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