Will you help call time on plans?

The Crown Hotel, Biggleswade High Street PNL-140210-151049001
The Crown Hotel, Biggleswade High Street PNL-140210-151049001

Would you help call time on plans for Wetherspoons to move into an empty Biggleswade pub?

At a meeting this week Biggleswade Town Council once again objected to the pub chain’s plans to move in to the Crown on the High Street.

It flagged up issues with a lack of car parking and the loss of the public right of way through the pub’s yard, which connects the High Street to Church Street.

Work has already been done by the town’s history society to establish the route as a right of way, and Central Beds Council is now asking for people who remember using it to get in touch.

Speaking on Tuesday, Councillor David Lawrence explained: “We should support the right of way application. If we can get the right of way accepted, then by default the Crown application fails.

“We have to make it a right of way, and Central Beds has the power to do that.”

The issue of parking was also raised, with councillor Madeline Russell stating: “My primary concern, you will not be surprised to hear, is the parking. They’re not taking into consideration the parking at all except one disabled parking bay. It’s just not good enough and the town can’t take it.

“At the very least they should be making a large contribution to help us provide parking elsewhere. And I mean a large sum, probably a six figure sum.”

Concerns were also raised that the cellar drop was indicated on the plans as being along the High Street, with fears raised that this could cause traffic chaos when buses leave the town centre bus stop.

However, Councillor Bernard Rix said he would support the plans with two caveats. These were the preservation of its historic nature, and the protection of nearby Abbots Walk as a right of way through to Church Street.

He said: “I want to see a sensitive restoration of The Crown in Biggleswade’s historic town centre, and suspect most Biggleswade residents will want to see this treasure in Biggleswade’s town centre rejuvenated rather than potentially abandoned.

“Central Beds Council will need to ensure they understand and take account of the views of the town in coming to their final planning decision”.

You can contact Central Beds’ rights of way department at rightsofway@
centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or on 0300 300 8305.