New �1million pub scheme given the go-ahead

A NEW �1million pub for Royston has moved a step closer after councillors backed plans which will create 40 new jobs in the town.

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon is seeking to redevelop the dilapidated Manor House Club, in Melbourn Street, into a “real ale, food and wine establishment”.

At a meeting of Royston Town Council’s planning committee on Monday, councillors unanimously supported the scheme, which will see extensive renovations carried out on the listed building.

Cllr Bob Smith said: “This planning application for what is becoming a derelict building should be welcomed.”

Though Cllr Smith raised some concerns about the positioning of a bin store being proposed for the side of the building, Cllr F John Smith said: “The important thing is to look at what they are proposing to do in general terms, and I can see no reason why we should object in any way to what is being put forward.”

A final decision on the plans will be taken by North Herts District Council.

In their application, Wetherspoons state: “We believe our proposals for a new restaurant/public house will help promote vitality back to the town and improve the local economy by providing up to 60 jobs to the local population as well as retaining shoppers in the town centre, rather than travelling to nearby Baldock or Cambridge, having a positive effect on local businesses and the community.”

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JD Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said the firm were “delighted” that their application had been approved.

He said: “We appreciate the fact the council and its members are keen to see a Wetherspoon pub opening in Royston.

“At present we still have to apply for a licence for the new pub and we will look to apply in the near future.

“We have been keen to open a pub in the town for a number of years and are pleased that things are moving in the right direction.

“Subject to a licence being granted and the deal being completed, we would look to invest more than �1million on the project and create 40 new jobs.”

He added that a projected opening date for the pub had yet to be finalised.

The Manor House club closed 18 months ago after membership dwindled. It had been open as a social club in various guises since 1919.

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