Wetherspoon finally gets planning approval

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Pub firm JD Wetherspoon is set to invest £1.5m into Bourne - and create 60 new jobs - after plans got the go-ahead.

The chain, which has branches in Stamford and Oakham, submitted a planning application to South Kesteven District Council in October 2016 to transform the former Jenny May and J H Wand shops in North Street, Bourne, into a pub.

Amended plans were submitted before Christmas and planning permission was granted late last week by a case officer working for the council - and did not go before councillors to be decided.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said no date had been agreed for work to start.

He said: “We need to check the conditions and we will now need to submit a licensing application before we can complete on the purchase of the building.

“We are keen to open a pub in Bourne and believe that it will be welcomed and also be an asset to the town.

“We have enjoyed great success with our pubs in the region and believe that one of our pubs in Bourne will be welcomed by local people and also act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the town.”

Jenny May closed last Spring. J H Wand has been closed since May 2015.

The planning application stated that the building is deteriorating while empty and the work would “ensure the future of the building and its attractiveness”.

The customer area will be entirely on the ground floor with a staff area on a newly-created first floor. The application asks for a small extension to accommodate this.

Local history artwork and locally-commissioned sculptures will be displayed around the premises and a fireplace will be installed as a focal point.

An outdoor area will also be created for smokers.

The decision notice said the council had worked with Wetherspoon in a “positive and proactive manner”.

The case officer said the “size, scale and design” of new additions to the building had been the “subject of a number of discussions and revisions”.

Bourne Town Council raised no objections to the amended plans. Six letters of objection to the plans were received, raising concerns about parking, noise, increased traffic and waste. Three letters were sent in favour of the plans and a further letter in favour was sent following the submission of the amended plans.

Bourne Civic Society was also in favour of the plans as long as the “original fabric” of the two “heritage buildings” was not removed.

l What do you think? E-mail your views to: smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk