J D Wetherspoons £1.3 million plans for Downham Market pub

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A Downham pub could be getting a £1.3 million make-over under new plans by national pub chain J D Wetherspoon.

The White Hart could be transformed and extended if planners at West Norfolk Council give the green light.

A total of 45 new jobs could be created under the move.

Eddie Gershon, Wetherspoon’s spokesman, said: “It is very early days, but Wetherspoon’s has submitted planning permission for the site and will await the outcome before it can progress further.

“Wetherspoon’s has enjoyed great success in the region and believe that people in Downham would welcome one of our pubs.”

The planning application states that there would be “minimal works” to the internal layout but a large flat roof extension is planned at the back. Sliding folding door sets are proposed to allow more light in the site with fireplaces being retained.

The plans also include a kitchen while the garden will be getting a make over with an external fireplace and potted plants.

News of the chain’s plan to open a pub in Downham received a mixed reaction and trader Simon Prior, of Downham’s Town Team, said: “There are potential positives and some negatives.

“The fact that an old building in the town is going to have some money spent on it is a good thing but I can’t say what the long term impact will be for other established businesses.

“There is some concern it will affect the catering firms along with some of the pubs.

“I do think it is nice that Downham is regarded as a desirable place for nationals.”