Residents in a small market town in West Yorkshire are kicking off over proposed plans to open a Wetherspoons, with one couple concerned it could attract ‘unpleasant behaviour’.
Locals living in Wetherby, near Leeds, are urging Wetherspoons not to open up there as they’re worried about the impact it may have on the quaint town.
The pub chain is currently in talks to take over a site that was previously an Italian restaurant, but not everyone is keen with the idea of having cheap pints and Thursday Curry Club on their doorstep.
So much so, one couple are urging Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin to rethink the proposal and consider opening up somewhere ‘more suitable’.
Christina and Derek Brown, 76 and 75, are already saddened by the closure of restaurant Sant’ Angelo and think Wetherspoons wouldn’t be a good replacement for what the town has lost.
Derek told LeedsLive: “It’s not very good. I don’t like Wetherspoon. They tend to create a disturbance. There’s a lot of drunkenness and unpleasant behaviour.
“It was always a conservative unit, there was a lot of activity but there was never any fuss. It was packed out and it was so supported, it’s just a shame the family are no longer running it.”
Christina said: “Oh my lovely Sant’ Angelos. I don’t want it to close.
“It is such lovely place. We know the whole family and they’re gorgeous. My family will miss it. It was vibrant, we frequented it nearly every other week.”
Derek added: “We don’t need another pub. Go and find another more suitable venue in another town. How about Sheffield or somewhere like that?”
And grandparents Derek and Christina aren’t the only ones who think a ‘Spoons won’t go down well in Wetherby.
James Jones, 82, said: “Wetherspoon will be radically different [than Sant’ Angelo]– as long as the building is being used, I don’t mind.
“This is a very conservative town with their noses in the air, how he [Tim Martin] is going to appeal to people like that, I don’t know.”
Wetherspoons has said it will meet with locals in an attempt to address their concerns,
Spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The company has built up a wide range of policies and procedures to ensure its pubs do not cause disturbance and noise to its neighbours.
“Should the company be granted the necessary permissions for the proposed pub, we will be happy to meet with residents prior to opening to answer any questions that they might have.
“It is not our experience that when Wetherspoon opens a pub, that it has a negative effect on other businesses in a town. Instead, the pub can attract more visitors to the town centre, who will visit other shops and venues to the benefit of the area as a whole.”