Plans approved for Wetherspoon pub in Kenilworth

Planners said they are happy that concerns have been addressed after the first application was withdrawn
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Kenilworth is set to get a new Wetherspoon pub after planning permission was granted by Warwick District Council last night (Tuesday).

The national chain had withdrawn a previous planning application that it had submitted in July 2022 for the building on The Square, Kenilworth, with the revised plans being passed unanimously by councillors on the district’s planning committee.

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The former shop, which housed Poundland until January 2020 and has been vacant since then, will undergo a “remodelling of the front and rear elevations” with a pub garden at the back, including an acoustic fence to block out noise.

A computer generated image of the proposed new Wetherspoon pub at 18-24 The Square in Kenilworth Town centre.A computer generated image of the proposed new Wetherspoon pub at 18-24 The Square in Kenilworth Town centre.
A computer generated image of the proposed new Wetherspoon pub at 18-24 The Square in Kenilworth Town centre.

Concerns were still raised in relation to this second application, highlighting noise, privacy issues, safety, nuisances and odours, particularly for those living in flats adjacent to the building and by the car park to the rear. The arguments for included having an affordable pub to liven up the high street and putting right the “eyesore” of the vacant unit.

The council’s report noted that comments directed towards the operator of the site could not be considered.

It read: “It is noted that members of the public have differing views regarding the appropriateness of the proposed operator of the premises, JD Wetherspoon, and its impact on the economy of the town centre.

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“However, this assessment relates to the proposed use, not the specific operator, as this could change at any future date. The proposed operator is therefore not a consideration which bears weight in this assessment.”

The planning report highlighted that a licensing condition would see the beer garden closed at 9pm each night, while sound insulation to protect neighbouring residential buildings will form part of the planning conditions.

The pub will be able to open from 7am until 11pm Sunday to Thursday, until 12.30am on Fridays, Saturdays, Boxing Day and Sundays prior to bank holidays and until 1.30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Sandip Sahota, a business manager in development services at Warwick District Council, said: “I think the previous application was withdrawn because several concerns were raised by the environmental health officer.

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“Those have now been addressed, the environmental health officer has not raised objections subject to conditions for the various elements in terms of amenity and other environmental issues. They are all considered to be acceptable."

Councillor Richard Dickson (Lib Dem, Kenilworth St John's) was glad to see work had been done to address worries.

“I endorse what Mr Sahota said, I know a lot of work has gone into this application based on earlier objections from the town council, addressing many of the concerns from residents," he said.

“Yes, it is in a retail area when you look from the front but within 50 metres there is quite a lot of residential property, including a cul-de-sac where older people live butting onto the car park there.”

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Wetherspoon withdrew its original plans in September last year, vowing to return with new plans to address the objections.

At the time, Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: "There is a discrepancy on the plans and our planning consultant's advice was to resubmit rather than amend the application."