Wetherspoons puts in for Corn Exchange licence

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WETHERSPOONS has submitted a licensing application in what is its final hurdle before taking over the Corn Exchange, in Bury St Edmunds.

The application, put in to St Edmundsbury Borough Council on Tuesday, comes just weeks after councillors on the same authority approved a planning application for the pub giant to take on the building.

A public consultation will now take place until June 15 before the application is put to committee for a final vote.

The firm has applied to sell alcohol and open to the public until 11pm Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.

Those hours have been welcomed by Abbeygate ward Cllr Paul Farmer who successfully campaigned for the opening hours to be limited by a condition on the planning approval.

“I am delighted that JD Wetherspoon appear to have taken to heart the planning restriction on hours which I campaigned for, and have incorporated these in their licence application,” he said.

“I shall be consulting with residents to see if there are any other aspects of the application that concern them and advising accordingly. I hope this lays down a marker for more sensible closing times for town centre drinking establishments.”

Wetherspoons will lease the first floor of the grade II listed building for £80,000 a year from the council. It has said that it plans to invest about £1.4 million in restoring the inside of the building, and will create around 35 new jobs.