A new £1.2 million pub that will bring about 40 jobs to Burgess Hill has been approved by councillors.
Wetherspoon will now have to apply for a drinks licence for the site at the empty Curry’s and Sussex Stationers site in Church Walk.
Although district councillors approved the application by Wetherspoon, they had to consider objections that the pub might cause too much noise for people living in flats near it.
They also had to accept the loss of two potential shop sites if they were converted into the pub, but did so against a background of a struggle to find tenants for some empty shops because of the long-running economic crisis.
Wetherspoon raised the issue of the difficulty of finding tenants when it put forward arguments for approving the scheme and said nearby seven other shop units were empty. It told the council “The current economic climate and difficulties in the retail sector have left a number of retail units in this section of Church Walk empty for a long time.”
District councillor for the area Anne Jones said after the decision: “I had great concern about the effect of noise on the residents, but it was a difficult one because I also had other residents say that it would be a good thing and that two empty shops would be occupied.”
Residents who objected claimed the pub would be “detrimental to all nearby local residents but particularly the immediately adjacent neighbours.”
The first floor area would generate significant noise and plant and machinery on the roof would generate excessive noise and smells.
They pointed out there were no significant noise problems at present but this would change.
And they said the use of an outdoor area would significantly affect residents living above and nearby.
Objectors, of which there were only a few, also said deliveries will also cause noise disturbance behind the pub and any positives would be outweighed by negatives.