07 Aug Pub chain snaps up prime site to develop
Pub chain JD Wetherspoon is hoping to build a new pub and restaurant in Gorleston, having snapped up a prime High Street site.
The chain is looking to make a £1.5m investment at the GT Motors site, pictured below, creating 45 jobs and delivering a “positive knock-on effect” within the town. The scheme is still in its early stages and needs planning permission and licensing.
Already it is being hailed by some as a further boost to the town as its reputation as a shopping and night-out destination grows. But concerns have been raised about the impact on traditional pubs and cafés in the area.
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said it was “great news” for the town, which was already holding its own and bucking national retail trends.
“Gorleston is such a success story,” he said. “And this only adds to it. If you look at national occupancy rates, Gorleston is well above the national average. It just shows it is where people want to be and where people want to invest.”
Kevin Huggins, director of Fusion Hair and Beauty, said anything that made use of an empty unit was to be welcomed.
He said: “Anything that you try to do to encourage people to come down the high street is a good thing, and you couldn’t get a better name than Wetherspoon.”
But Suzy Fowler, landlady at The Three Tuns, said she was horrified at the prospect. The 54-year-old is circulating a petition calling on people to oppose the plan.
She said: “There are nine pubs in the area. We do not need a 10th. A lot of people feel it will bring trade in but I am not happy about it. It will undercut all of us. We are all struggling and we do not need it.”
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said the development was “a way off”.
this news story was provided by Great Yarmouth Mercury