Wetherspoon withdraws Essex hotel proposal

Wetherspoon withdraws Essex hotel proposal

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has withdrawn proposals to build a 60-bed hotel on the car park of an Essex pub after planning officers advised of issues with the scheme.

A spokesperson for the pub chain declined to comment on what the issues were but said that a decision was taken to withdraw the original plans and submit new ones in due course.

The pub chain was seeking permission to build the hotel on the grounds of the Elms pub, in Leigh, Essex.

According to local news reports, the plans had come under criticism from both residents and Leigh Town Council, largely to do with the loss of existing parking and lack of plans for a car park at the hotel.

The first JD Wetherspoon pub opened in 1979 and the company currently operates almost 900 free houses in the UK and Ireland. It opened its first hotel in Shrewsbury in 1998 and today operates more than 50 hotels and more than 1,000 bedrooms.

Commenting on the company's expansion plans within the hotels sector, chairman Tim Martin told The Caterer in an interview set to be published next week: "We're expanding cautiously. We've opened about 50 hotels with an average of 50 rooms, a lot only have seven or eight rooms. We need a few years to see how that works. Above all we're trying to not waste capital.

"It's very easy to pour money into something which ends up being not very viable - people lose their sense of humour if you do that enough."

Tim Martin inducted into British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame >>

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