Major pub chain eyes new site in Plymouth
A NATIONAL chain could bring 40 jobs to Plympton with a plan to invest £1million in a new pub.
J D Wetherspoon has applied to Plymouth City Council for planning permission to convert the Ridgeway's former Job Centre building into a boozer.
The chain, which runs more than 800 pubs and hotels across the UK, said it wanted to open an establishment with a beer garden and new shop front.
And the company, famous for cheap beer and food, has requested to put extensions on two floors – the ground and first – at the site which was most recently used as a temporary building for Plympton's library.
A spokesperson for Wetherspoons said: "We have a number of pubs that have been very successful in the city for more than 10 years and we are always looking to expand.
"We hope to invest around £1million into this site bringing around 40 jobs for bar staff, management and kitchen roles."
He added: "We are very keen and are just waiting for the necessary permissions."
Not everyone was pleased about the prospect of a new pub in the area.
Landlord at Sir Joshua Reynolds, Paul Dickinson, said he felt his pub "might not survive" the competition unless his brewery bought down his rent.
"Beer prices have gone up-and-up," said the Ridgeway landlord.
"It's hard times enough as it is – it would really affect all the area's pubs but particularly us, the Post Office Inn and The George."
He was also worried Plympton's police already had enough pub revellers to deal with.
"There are already enough pubs in Plympton as it is – I don't know how the police would cope."
He added: "I wouldn't have thought that site would be big enough for a Wetherspoons."
This is the second time the pub chain has attempted to open its doors in the Ridgeway.
In 2008 JD Wetherspoon abandoned its endeavours to move into a Grade II listed building at 111 the Ridgeway, after planners rejected the application.
The company withdrew its appeal against a decision by Plymouth City Council planning committee to refuse their application – and had to pay the council's costs.
Wetherspoon's had appealed to the Secretary of State to overturn the decision but withdrew on the day of the appeal.
Mr Dickinson added: "We won that battle. I hope our brewery might reduce our rent or we might not survive."
To view this application visit www.plymouth.gov.uk and look up application number 12/01780/FUL