Wetherspoon pub plans for Bexhill are given the go-ahead

The site of the new Wetherspoons in Western Road, Bexhill. SUS-150601-125144001
The site of the new Wetherspoons in Western Road, Bexhill. SUS-150601-125144001

Pub giant JD Wetherspoon’s plans to redevelop the cinema in Western Road have been given the go-ahead by Rother District Council (RDC).

Councillors on the authority’s planning committee gave their full approval at a meeting last Thursday (May 28).

The planning application includes reworking ground-floor properties, levelling them and turning three retail units in Western Road back into one.

Access and layouts would be created on the first floor, with new toilets, and steps which previously were the way to the Playhouse Cinema via the second floor will provide a fire escape route.

There would be a new opening out to the proposed beer garden the top of the flat roof, above number 36, which would be shielded from the street scene by the existing first floor block.

A report by district council planners said the cinema building had lain empty since 2008 while the shop units had been closed down in the past year.

“The entire frontage is boarded up and while it has been kept relatively tidy and secure the vacant condition of the buildings detracts from the appearance of this part of the town centre and Bexhill Town Centre Conservation Area,” the report added.

In a letter to RDC, Dennis Donovan, Sussex Police’s crime prevention design adviser, said: “The proposals will revitalise a redundant town centre property and enliven the street scene without adversely impacting on the provision of policing or crime and disorder.”

RDC received eight responses in favour of the scheme and 12 against the proposal.

Mark Richards, of London Road, said he objected, saying there was a ‘lack of parking facilities, potential for noise disturbance from the open air garden area and there being in the immediate area no less than seven licensed establishments’.

In support, David Stanbridge, of Cranston Avenue, Bexhill, said the Playhouse Cinema had sat ‘empty and crumbling for far too long’.

Eddie Gershon, Wetherspoon spokesman, said: “We have been keen to open a pub in Bexhill for many years.

“We are delighted that this is now moving in a positive direction with the granting of planning permission for the site. At present we do not have an on site or opening date.

“We are confident that a Wetherspoon pub would be good for the town and act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in Bexhill.”

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