Pub may need a rethink on opening hours

WETHERSPOONS may need to rethink its late-night opening hours if it wants to open its first pub in Huntingdonshire. The pub chain wants to extend into St Neots, targeting the former Post Office building in New Street for one of its familiar restaurant and

WETHERSPOONS may need to rethink its late-night opening hours if it wants to open its first pub in Huntingdonshire.

The pub chain wants to extend into St Neots, targeting the former Post Office building in New Street for one of its familiar restaurant and wine bars.

The firm had been so confident the project would get through the planning system that its website states the scheme is currently "underdevelopment" and will open in October 2008.

However, St Neots Town Council has other ideas.


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While it cannot reject the planning application, the council has raised objections and concerns for Huntingdonshire District Council to consider.

Planning committee chairman Cllr Jennifer Bird said it agreed to the plan principle but opposed the late opening hours and lack of outside facilities for smokers.

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She told The Hunts Post: "We were concerned about the late opening times that they were going to apply for on special days, including St George's Day and about 20 other days, when they wanted to remain open until 2.30am.

"We were also concerned about them not having an allocated smoking area and felt it would not be ideal if it was located on the front of the building as it would not be fair to nearby residents.

"But we felt there were a lot of things in favour of it. The food it would serve will appeal to more mature clients and it would bring employment to the area.

"Even the residents living near the old Post Office agreed that there could be worse options."

HDC is expected to make a decision on the Wetherspoons application by the end of the month.

A spokesman for the pub chain said he did not want to comment on proposed opening hours before a planning decision was taken, but said that wherever possible the company looked for outside spaces for smokers.

Wetherspoons is expecting to spend in more than £1million on the pub and create at least 30 jobs.

- Would you welcome a Wetherspoons in St Neots? Send your views to editor@huntspost.co.uk or write to The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE29 3TB.

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