Wetherspoon hopes it’s third time lucky at Glos Rd

May 05 2016
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Wetherspoon hopes it’s third time lucky at Glos Rd

THE announcement from J D Wetherspoon that it intends to hold another consultation about opening a bar on the Gloucester Road has been met with concern by the Bishopston Society.

Neil Embleton, responding on behalf of the the Bishopston Society, stated: “We are extremely concerned that that, following considerable opposition from the local community and the withdrawal of two earlier applications, J D Wetherspoon is still planning a third application in order to open an outlet on the Gloucester Road.

“Number 349 Gloucester Road is a poor quality building from the 1960s which, in an ideal world, would best be redeveloped. Saying that, we would still be pleased to see it upgraded and put to a good use rather than standing empty, even if only as a temporary measure. However, along with many local residents, we are far from convinced that Wetherspoons is a good use.”

The consultation was due to take place at Bristol Rovers’ Memorial Stadium, on Monday April 25. J D Wetherspoon has been keen to convert the building into a pub since 2014 but has met considerable local opposition because of fears that it will encourage antisocial behaviour and will not be suitable for an area well known for its independent businesses.

A spokesman for the pub operator said: “Members of the Wetherspoon development team, including representatives of its operational team and the project architects, will be at the event and will be happy to discuss the proposed development with members of the public.”

The company is also keen to emphasise that it does not encourage irresponsible drinks promotions.

Over the last few years the Bishopston Society has put considerable time and effort into monitoring and opposing new applications and extensions to licensing hours on a section of Gloucester Road known as the Community Impact Area. The CIA was requested by the police in response to concerns about the local density of alcohol outlets and in an attempt to restrict noise, nuisance and disruption to
the local residential community which stems from ever increasing late night drinking.

Neil Embleton added: “We have to remember that Bishopston is primarily a family residential area. By contrast, the Society did support the application for a microbrewery at 447 Gloucester Road because we felt that was smallscale, locally based, community orientated and had very reasonable opening hours. It was seen as a positive rather than negative change to the area.

“The Bishopston Society seeks to reflect the views of the local community which wants to retain the special local character and quality of Bishopston and does not want the Gloucester Road to be turned into a citywide drinking destination like the Whiteladies Road. As such, we do not support J D Wetherspoon’s plans to open up at 349 Gloucester Road.”