Wetherspoon pub plan backed
Plans to build a restaurant-cum-bar to accommodate national pub chain J D Wetherspoon in Diss have been unanimously approved.
South Norfolk Council’s planning committee praised the “excellent design” and “spectacular site” overlooking the Mere, describing it as a “huge asset” to the town.
Joe Darrell, landowner of King’s Head Yard off Mere Street, where the restaurant will be built, secured planning permission for the site in 2008, but resubmitted plans for a slightly bigger development including a mezzanine floor.
Speaking after Wednesday’s planning meeting, Mr Darrell: “I think it’s a great feature for Diss.
“Wetherspoons are definitely very interested in it and it has been designed to fit them.”
The restaurant-cum-bar will be open from 8am to midnight seven days a week and the development is expected to create 16 full-time jobs.
The plans include a car park with 22 spaces, a stepped terrace and a footpath to the Mere frontage.
The Diss Express asked residents for their thoughts on J D Wetherspoon opening in Diss this week and received a positive response. Ed Nottingham, a member of Diss Business Forum, said the town should embrace the changes and not fear them.
“We call that space the King’s Head car park - that closed 30 years ago - and we’re stuck in the past just saying it,” he said.
“No money has been spent on it since it closed and as a car park it’s near the end of its life and no great advertisement for the town.
“Wetherspoons would not come if they could not see demand and will do all they can to make it a success. Like it or not, the younger generation want this kind of venue and we have a duty to meet their desires.”
However, Dale Edwards, landlord of The Greyhound pub in Diss, said the development would have some impact on his business.
He said: “In my mind Wetherspoons have got a certain section of the market, they are to the pub world what McDonald’s is to the restaurant world. You know what you are going to get - cheap and cheerful.
“It is a concern, it’s not a worry. The advantage that we do have is that they have templates they have to stick to but we can manoeuvre around a bit.”
As a condition of the approval, and following concerns from Norfolk Police and Diss Town Council, a barrier will be put up at the water’s edge, although planning officer Claire Curtis said this could be something low-key like bollards and a chain.
n Turn to page 8 for your comments on the development.
- BREAKING: Young motorcyclist from Eye who died in Fressingfield road crash yesterday is named
- Man, 25, from Eye dies after motorcycle collision in north Suffolk
- Man assaulted in hotel car park in Diss
- Is something sinister behind the missing Diss Mere Street chickens?
- Laptop and bank documents stolen during Diss burglary
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Diss
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east