Here is a brief history of the Society’s involvement in the Wetherspoon’s planning application. More detail can be found by clicking on the Whetherspoon’s link on the lefty hand side
March – The Lymington Times accused the Society of “waving a white flag” over the licensing application. This was an unfair comment, and Clive Sutton responded with a letter to the editor which appeared in the March 18th edition of the paper. Click HERE to see the letter.
Jan 2nd – After long consideration, and following feedback from society members, the committee has decided not to pursue a Judicial Review into mis-conduct at the planning committee meeting in September which granted planning permission for the change of use of 47-48 St Thomas’ Street from a shop to a public house.
Although we remain deeply concerned about the planning process which led to the granting of the application, we are aware that the legal process of judicial review is expensive and uncertain. We also need to consider the aspect of public opinion towards Lymington. Although trial by Fleet Street is an unfair and deeply flawed thing, it cannot be ignored. On the one hand we have Lymington described as “the best seaside town in the country”, on the other hand we are “too posh for” this, that and the other.
Dec 7th – Society issues press release urging the NFDC planning committee to rethink their decision, as it seems extraordinary that a unanimous decision one way on one application should be followed by a majority decision the other way on an almost identical one, with no explanation along planning lines. Click HERE to see the press release
Sept 15th – NFDC planning committee accepts the latest planning application. The Society is considering whether and how to respond
Sept 7th – Planning officers recommend rejection of latest application. Click HERE to see our press release
July 29 2011: The Society has submitted an objection to the application, pointing out that the new application is substantially different from the previous one and should therefore be subjected to the full planning assessment process. Click HERE to see our submission. It contains a concise analysis of the new information contained in the many documents that make up the application. Thanks as ever to Jonathan for dredging through the application and putting togeher this enlightening letter.
June 2 2011: The Lymington and Pennington Town Council was unanimous in its rejection of the application. General opinion is that it will go before July’s Development Control meeting.
26th Feb 2011 A new planning application is being prepared. This time the applicants are meeting the Town Council and church representatives in the hope of creating a satisfactory plan. The Lymington Society has also been asked to contribute to the process.
May 2011: LymSoc accepted an invitation from Globe Consultants, JD Wetherspoon’s planning agents to hear about the new planning application for a change of use at 47/48 St Thomas Street. Four members of the LymSoc committee met representatives of Globe and JD Wetherspoon on Tuesday 17th May. Afterwards, LymSoc Chairman Clive Sutton said “We had a thoroughly professional presentation from the JD Wetherspoon team and were grateful for the opportunity to hear the details of their new application at first hand. We heard how the new application seeks to deal with the reasons for refusal of the previous application, which prompted the highest number of objections to any planning application that we can remember, including the Society’s, and was turned down by the NFDC. However, we made it clear to them that their new application for a change of use of these premises can’t overcome the main reason for refusal, which is related to its location and that we completely support the NFDC’s decision on this.
The latest application is on the NFDC website; Application number 96974
Although the new application seeks to address some of the objections to the earlier application, the Lymington Society committee feels that the most significant aspect of the original objection, the inappropriate nature of the site, has not been addressed. The committee is submitting an objection to the new application.
Click HERE for the Society’s objection.
If you have an opinion about this important plan to change the nature of the area near St Thomas’ Church, and wish to lodge your own objection, or indeed express your support, please click HERE for direct access to the NFDC website’s comments form for this application. There is a box opposite the word “opinion:” that enables you to register your objection, support, or just comment. Below this is a box that you can write your comment into. You complete your submission by hitting the “submit comment” box.
Please be aware that, although the Society is recognised by individuals within the planning community as representing a significant body of opinion in Lymington and Pennington, our objection carries no more weight than any other, so please add your own voice if you feel that the current application is not right for the town.
By Thursday morning, 30th June, the NFDC’s planning website had received 843 responses, 91 in support of the application, and 726 against it. This level of response is unprecedented; in the ten years since the NFDC’s planning applications went on line, only three Lymington applications have drawn more than 100 responses, and one of them was the previous Wetherspoon application. There is still time to register your view; just follow the steps shown above.
Websites of Interest:
St Thomas Church The website for the church, which includes a comments area
J D Wetherspoons The website for the applicant
Lymington Megapub Objection Page Website of a local group which opposes the application
In April 2010 a planning application was published by the NFDC for a change of use of Ford’s shop in St Thomas’ St to a public house. Investigations showed that the application was from J D Wetherspoon. (website www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk)
The committee exchanged views as is customary for significant planning applications, and discussed the pros and cons of the application.
While this debate was taking place, the Society’s press spokesman, Don Mackenzie, was approached by the Lymington Times and asked for the Society’s views, in the form of a press release. Here is the full press release. (Click Here to See the Press Release)
As you can see, at the same time as welcoming the idea of improved facilities for young Lymington residents, the full text of the press release indicates the grave concerns the Society has about the proposed location of the pub, and the need for strict control over noise and nuisance from this type of facility whatever the location.
In order to correct the impression given by the partial use of the initial press release in the Lymington Times article, Clive Sutton, the Society’s chairman, has written the following letter to the lymington Times: (Click Here to See the Press Release)
A longer and more detailed objection was lodged on 25th June 2010. (Click Here to See the New Objection)