Downham Market pub renovations recommended for approval

PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 October 2015

The White Hart on Bridge Street, in Downham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The White Hart on Bridge Street, in Downham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2015

Pub company JD Wetherspoons is set to find out if it can move ahead with the proposed renovations to the White Hart in Bridge Street.

Two applications for the site have been submitted to planners at West Norfolk Council; one for an extension to house kitchen facilities and a corresponding application for internal alterations to the Grade II listed building.

A decision will be made about the £1.3 million renovations when the planning committee meets on Monday (2 November).

Reports to councillors explain that while 38 letters received object to the plans, 21 letters of support have also been submitted. Five letters neither objected nor supported the application.

The report says: “... the proposal will see a dilapidated listed building repaired and brought back into use as well as providing the opportunity to rectify some of the poor work undertaken in the recent past.

“It will also retain its original use as a pub serving the town.”

Councillors on the planning committee are recommended to approve the application, but Downham Market Town Council disagrees. While the town council welcomes support and economic growth, it claims inconsistencies and errors appear in the application.

Concerns have also been raised about noise levels coming from the beer garden for near-by residents.

The report says: “The assessment of noise levels indicate that there is a possibility of significant disturbance to nearby residents, one prediction being up to 53dbA inside a bedroom at night time.

“.... the World Health Organisation Guidelines recommend a level of around 30dBA for night time sleeping conditions and this is significantly exceeded to a level that is likely to cause complaint.”

It has been recommended that councillors impose conditions to help reduce the noise levels, for example by encouraging patrons to move inside by 11pm.

Last week, the property committee for Downham Market Town Council deferred JD Wetherspoons application to create a loading bay close the White Hart.

- What do you think about Wetherspoons coming to Downham Market? Email

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