North Walsham Wetherspoon deal moves closer

North Walsham Town Council offices.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

North Walsham Town Council offices.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Pub giant JD Wetherspoon has taken a step closer to opening in North Walsham, paving the way for a £1.6m investment and dozens of new jobs.

The outlet is set to occupy a building currently used by the town council on New Road.

The council will move into North Walsham registration office, on King's Arms Street, borrowing its marriage room as a council chamber.

The agreement to sell the property had been dependent on the owner North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) finding another base for the town council.

Alternative homes have been found for the building's other tenants, with the Citizens Advice Bureau moving to a unit in St Nicholas's Precinct. North Norfolk Community Transport has already moved to the North Walsham Industrial Estate.

Hopes of relocating them all into a former doctors' surgery on Northfield Road were dashed just before Christmas when the NHS rejected an improved and final offer for the building from the district council.

NNDC leader Tom FitzPatrick said: 'We are very pleased to be close to being able to offer freehold vacant possession allowing Wetherspoon to move forward with its proposals for a pub-restaurant in the town, subject to planning and licensing consents.

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'Attracting new jobs and improving the facilities in North Walsham is a major priority for the district council.'

He added: 'The process of identifying suitable new premises for the organisations working within the New Road building has taken more time than anticipated but we are pleased each now has a new home.'

It is expected the £1.6m development can now move forward with the purchase of the New Road property by Wetherspoon and an application for planning permission to convert the building into a pub.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: 'We believe that our style of pub will be welcome in the town and that it will be an asset to the town too.

'We also believe that a wide range of people will like our style of pub.'