Pub chain in ongoing talks

Interior of the Corn Exchange in Alnwick.
Interior of the Corn Exchange in Alnwick.

A national pub chain is still sorting planning conditions before work can begin on site in Alnwick.

A scheme to convert the Grade-II listed former Corn Exchange off Bondgate Within was given unanimous approval by members of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee in February.

The £1.3million plans will create around 40 jobs and bring a building, which has been left to wrack and ruin for the last 20 years, back into use.

But work has yet to start on the site and discussions are ongoing between the pub company and the council with regards to conditions of the permission and the scope for changing them.

A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon said: “Wetherspoon is waiting for the vendor to sort an issue out with the local authority that would impact on deliveries to the pub.

“Wetherspoon has both planning and licensing permission, however, there are some conditions on planning that we are in discussions with the council.

“As a result, there are no on-site or opening dates as yet, though Wetherspoon is committed to opening a pub in the town.”

A spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said: “Wetherspoon’s have applied for a variation to a condition to create access for a beer garden.

“This will be considered at a forthcoming planning committee meeting, which will be August at the earliest.”

Alnwick town and county Coun Gordon Castle is urging for issues with the plans to be ‘ironed out’ as quickly as possible.

He said: “I am getting frustrated at the speed of progress with this application.

“So much so that I have intervened and asked for everyone to get around the table to see how things are going.

“I have asked for a multi-department discussion, between everyone that is involved as the speed of the progress is worrying me.

“I want to see it happen. It would be a tragedy if it failed as that building would fall into disuse and we would be back to square one.”