Wetherspoon slammed over Welwyn Garden City 'eyesore' site

PUBLISHED: 17:06 21 July 2017

Liberal Democrat broough councillor Rachel Basch has criticised Wetherspoon over its Parkway premises.

Liberal Democrat broough councillor Rachel Basch has criticised Wetherspoon over its Parkway premises.

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Wetherspoon has been blasted by a borough councillor for letting its Welwyn Garden City property become an "eyesore".

How the proposed Parkway Wetherspoon pub would lookHow the proposed Parkway Wetherspoon pub would look

The pub giant wants to convert an empty Parkway house into a boozer, but had its plans downed twice in the last two years by Welwyn Hatfield Council.

Wetherspoon officials have repeatedly reiterated the company’s interest in the site, but Liberal Democrat Cllr Rachel Basch claimed the premises has been left to decay on its watch.

“It has now been almost a year since JD Wetherspoon was refused planning permission for the second time to convert 22 Parkway into a public house,” said the Handside representative.

“Since then the condition of the building has deteriorated and it now sits as an eyesore in a prominent and historic location on the edge of the town centre.

“With metal sheeting at the windows and persistently uncut grass – the building is not being sufficiently maintained.”

The pub chain has nearly 1,000 premises nationwide, including Hatfield’s Harpsfield Hall.

However, Wetherspoon has riled hundreds of WGC residents with its insistence that the Parkway site is appropriate for a pub.

Councillor Basch added: “If Wetherspoons want to prove that they could be a good neighbour in the town then they should take some responsibility and act promptly to improve the appearance of the building and its grounds.

“It has been getting worse ever since they took it over.”

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We take on board the councillor’s comments.

“However, it should be noted that the metal shutters are required as part of the building’s insurance. The building is also alarmed and is visited weekly by our maintenance people.”

The pub chain’s plans previously divided opinion, with many residents believing it would be better situated in the town centre, while others claimed it would be a good addition regardless.

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