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New Forest council says no to Wetherspoon's pub near historic church in Lymington
A PUB chain’s plans to open a watering hole just yards from an ancient church have been thrown out.
Wetherspoon wanted to convert a disused shop next to the 13th century St Thomas’s Church in Lymington into a drinking establishment.
But the plan sparked outrage amid fears it would change the face of the town centre and drive smaller pubs and eateries out of business.
Now councillors have called time on the controversial idea, claiming noisy revellers would make life a misery for neighbours.
Members of New Forest District Council’s planning development control committee voted unanimously to reject the plan.
Councillor Tony Swain added: “Lymington is a wonderful place and very special.
If we allow this sort of development here, the town won’t be special anymore.”
Planning bosses received a flurry of letters in the runup to the meeting, at Appletree Court in Lyndhurst, from those concerned that customers using the pub’s beer garden would upset people attending weddings, funerals and concerts at the church.
The vicar of St Thomas’s, the Reverend Peter Salisbury also attacked the scheme, claiming it would be “offensive to many people”.
Wetherspoon has always backed its plan, pointing to the awards it had won in the past for the way it ran establishments.