Belper set for £1m arrival of Wetherspoons

The site of the new Weatherspoons pub on Strutt Street, Belper.
The site of the new Weatherspoons pub on Strutt Street, Belper.

Wetherspoons is heading to Belper after plans were approved by councillors earlier this week.

The former Bugsy’s bar and diner, on Strutt Street, is now set to be transformed into a £1 million bar and restaurant.

Amber Valley Borough Council’s planning board agreed the change of use proposals at a meeting on Monday evening.

Cllr Alan Cox, chair of the planning board, said: “The application was approved as recommended.”

The arrival of the pub chain will create up to 45 jobs.

Eddie Gershon, spokesman for Wetherspoons, said at the time of the application: “Our aim is to develop a pub on the site, which we believe would be a good addition to Belper’s social scene.

“We also believe that if a Wetherspoons pub were to open in the town, it would act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the area.”

Despite the decision to press ahead with the plans, there was 16 letters of objection.

Among local residents’ concerns was noise pollution, a lack of parking in the area and that the proposal would have a negative impact on house prices in the area.

Another concern was that Wetherspoons would put other existing bars and pubs in the area out of business.

The planning report recommended that the bar and restaurant be only open to customers between 7am and 11pm, with the beer garden closing at 9pm each evening.

The report concluded that the plans “raise no unresolved issues in relation to the protection and enhancement of features at the site of architectural and historic importance, design, sustainability, transport, crime prevention, amenity and noise pollution.”

Opinion was split when the Belper News conducted a survey of local residents and shoppers earlier this year.

Some said they hoped the chain’s arrival would “generate jobs and hopefully bring people into the town”.

However, others were more sceptical and thought that the pub would “bring down the Belper image.”