From Brighton & Hove News –
Wetherspoons will face stiff opposition to its plans to open in the old Co-Op on Brighton’s London Road.
After months of speculation, the pub giant has now submitted a planning application to Brighton and Hove City Council.
The full details are not yet available, but it’s believed they want to open in the third retail unit on the corner of Baker Street.
People living and working in the area made their feelings about the plans clear at a meeting of the London Road Area Local Action Team last week.
Chief Executive Officer of the Brighton Housing Trust Andy Winter, who oversees the shipping container social housing nearby, said: “Can we all agree that it will be the mother of all fights if they try to open a Wetherspoons in the Co-Op?
“To have a large vertical drinking outlet in London Road would set us back all the gains we have made in recent times.”
And Marie-Louise Maeder from the London Road Town Team, was concerned it might affect the area’s existing pubs.
She said: “If you think about the pubs in the area, they have had to go through redevelopment.
“Wetherspoons moving in might affect some of the local pubs, it might take their customers away.”
Ward councillor Pete West said: “When an application is considered, the impact on competitors can’t be a consideration, but for licensing you must consider the alcohol impact on the area. In London Road, this would almost certainly rule out vertical drinking.
“You would have potentially a very large pub with a lot of customers which would have potentially a large impact as they leave.”
Chair of the LAT Philip Wells said a representative of Wetherspoons had offered to come to the meeting to discuss any application.
Meanwhile, the Gym Group has leased one of the other two retail units, and will open in April after being delayed by flooding and catering equipment retailer Nisbets was officially opened by Great British Bake Off contestant Kate Henry on Friday 6th March.