Wetherspoon says 65% of residents would welcome hotel and bar plans

PUBLISHED: 12:02 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:20 30 August 2018

A mock-up of Wetherspoon's hotel and bar plans for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Wetherspoon.

A mock-up of Wetherspoon's hotel and bar plans for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Wetherspoon.

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Wetherspoon has said the majority of residents would welcome its plans for a hotel and bar in Welwyn Garden City, according to its survey.

Wetherspoon's Parkway site. Picture: Chris Flanagan.Wetherspoon's Parkway site. Picture: Chris Flanagan.

The proposals for its Parkway site sparked over 200 objections online, but after commissioning independent research, the pub giant has said 65 per cent of people said they would welcome the plans.

The poll, based on 329 responses, was completed by specialist market research agency Cardinal, which works entirely in research about the drinks market and licensed trade.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon told the WHT: “We believe the market research highlights the fact that the majority of people surveyed would welcome a Wetherspoon hotel and bar.

“We appreciate that there are a number of people who have been outspoken against the plans, including councillors, however, this survey redresses the balance.

“We are keen to invest in the town, create jobs and offer a superb hotel and bar.”

According to the study, 57 per cent of respondents said they would use it for a meal or drink if it was open, while 55 per cent said it offered something different to WGC’s current options.

However, many critics in their online submissions said that having a Wetherspoon bar and hotel was not the problem, rather it was the current location – which is not specifically mentioned in the survey.

The questionnaire comprised five main questions:

•Do you think this proposed hotel and bar would be a welcome addition to the town?

•If it opened, do you think you would go there for a meal or drink?

•Have you been out to any eating or drinking places in the last 12 months?

•Have you been out to any eating or drinking places in WGC town centre in the last 12 months?

•Do you think this is something different to current places where you can eat, drink and stay in WGC?

It was also conducted on iPads, enabling respondents to be shown pictures and maps, as well as copies of the menus.

The plans follow two previously unsuccessful applications to turn the 1920s house into a pub.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has said that, if approved, the £1.5million scheme would create up to 50 new jobs.

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