Plans by JD Wetherspoon to open a new pub in the old Co-op in Brighton have reportedly been met with fierce opposition from locals.
The pub chain has submitted a planning application to the council and although full details are not yet available, Brighton & Hove News claims it wants to open in the third retail unit on the corner of Baker Street.
However, people living and working in the area expressed their concerns at a meeting of the London Road Area Local Action Team last week, according to the paper.
Brighton Housing Trust chief executive, Andy Winter, said: “Can we all agree that it will be the mother of all fights if they try to open a Wetherspoons in the Co-op? To have a large vertical drinking outlet in London Road would set us back all the gains we have made in recent times.”
And Marie-Louise Maeder, from the London Road Town Team, was concerned it might affect other similar venues in the area.
“If you think about the pubs in the area, they have had to go through redevelopment. Wetherspoons moving in might affect some of the local pubs. It might take their customers away.”
It was reported that a representative of Wetherspoons had offered to come to the meeting to discuss any application.
Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin recently revealed that the chain is targeting 200 pub openings by 2020. The move to expand the estate is set to create 15,000 new jobs.
Martin opened the first outlet back in 1979 and if the company meets its five-year target the number of stores it owns will exceed 1,000 for the first time.
It was reported that the new jobs would be created across both new and existing pubs and will include management as well as bar and kitchen positions. Martin said the firm was particularly interested in establishing a presence in places where it doesn’t currently have an offering.
“We are proud to be creating so many new jobs and are looking forward to opening the new pubs, many of which will be in areas where Wetherspoons is not yet represented,” he said.