Wetherspoon’s granted extended hours in Stamford by district council

The Rutland and Stamford Mercury office in Sheep Market, Stamford
The Rutland and Stamford Mercury office in Sheep Market, Stamford
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JD Wetherspoon’s appeal to extend the opening hours of the £1.2m pub development planned for the former Mercury office in Sheep Market, Stamford, was approved by South Kesteven District Council yesterday (Tuesday).

The district council’s development control committee granted the pub chain’s appeal to open from 8am to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 8am to 1pm Fridays and Saturdays.

Wetherspoon’s had originally been granted planning permission in June to develop the venue and create 50 jobs on the condition that the it would only open from 8am to 11.30pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 11pm on Sundays.

The original opening times were suggested by council planning officers to prevent disturbance to residents in the neighbouring buildings.

But district council planning officers changed their minds and recommended the extension of the opening hours be improved.

They said extending the hours would “not give rise to sufficiently increased levels of noise and disturbance in this town centre location.”

Wetherspoon’s successfully argued that it should be allowed to have the same opening hours as the nearby London Inn, which opens until 1am at weekends, and other pubs and bars in the town centre.

The pub’s outside area was also granted extended hours to allow pedestrian access to the pub.

At the same meeting the development control committee refused permission for two non-food shop units to be built in the former RF Witt and Sons site next to the carpark off Godsey Lane, Market Deeping.

The application was originally turned down by the committee on March 26 because it was deemed the height of the development would have a “significantly detrimental and dominating impact” to the residential area.

The height of development under the resubmitted plans was decreased from 5.5m to 4.5m, but councillors were still unhappy.

Planning officers had recommended the plans be approved, saying they would help address a shortfall in retail units in Market Deeping and not detract from the town centre.

But Market Deeping Town Council and MP John Hayes both raised concerns about impact the development would have on parking.

Mr Hayes also said he feared small, independent businesses could suffer with the final users of the units unknown at this time. And he felt that despite the reduction in height the shops would still have a significant impact on the residential properties.

During the consultation there were 14 letters from members of the public expressing various concerns including: parking, highways congestion, size of the development, increased noise levels, and the impact on housing including the reduction in house prices.

The development control committee also refused permission for a 72-acre solar farm to the north of Market Deeping, next to the A1175.

The proposed 56,254-panel energy park development by Lark Energy, was predicted to generate up to 13 MW of electricity each year.

During the consultation there were no major objections to the project from relevant councils, and just one letter from a member of the public against the proposal, voicing concerns about the solar farm soiling the views and being out of character with the area.