Downham Market publicans joining forces to fight off Wetherspoons

Landlord of The Swan in Downham Market Brendan Morgan is unhappy at plans for a Wetherspoon in the town. ANL-150415-213849009
Landlord of The Swan in Downham Market Brendan Morgan is unhappy at plans for a Wetherspoon in the town. ANL-150415-213849009
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Publicans in Downham are campaigning against plans to open a Wetherspoons pub over fears it could increase anti-social behaviour.

Brendan Morgan has worked hard to clear up the Swan Hotel since taking over and has banned a total of 27 people over a six-month period.

But he and other landlords in the town have concerns that the arrival of Wetherspoons with its early licensing conditions will create problems in Downham.

The national chain is looking to spend £1.3 million in transforming the White Hart.

Mr Morgan said: “We are really concerned about the early morning drinking. Drinking at 8am is not healthy.

“With Wetherspoons coming with early licensing hours and cheap booze, it is a recipe for disaster.”

Mr Morgan said some publicans in the town are considering leaving due to the arrival of the national chain.

He and other publicans have lodged objections with West Norfolk Council’s planning department.

They were due to meet yesterday to discuss their next step.

Mr Morgan said: “They say they are going to employ 45 people but other people could lose this jobs as other pubs won’t be able to compete.”

Concerns about the plans for Wetherspoons were also raised during last week’s Downham Town Council’s annual meeting.

Rebecca Elliott highlighted the impact of the proposed 325 covers for The White Hart on the town’s difficult parking situation.

West Norfolk Council has not yet made a decision on the Wetherspoons application.