Changes at Wetherspoon branch spark parking row with pub neighbours
PUBLISHED: 08:06 27 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:43 28 September 2020
A Wetherspoon branch on the edge of Norwich has apologised to its neighbours over a parking row linked to its forecourt revamp.
In order to allow for safer Covid-19 measures, The Whiffler in Hellesdon has sacrificed more than 20 of its car parking spaces to allow for greater outdoor seating provision.
It has lined the front of its building with picnic benches, spread apart to enable better social distancing and reduce the need for customers to sit indoors, where risk of infection is higher than in the open air.
However, Shelagh Gurney, who represents the suburb at three council levels, has said since the move she has received several complaints from neighbours that the move has shunted parking onto the streets and kerb sides instead.
Mrs Gurney said the complaints had particularly come from those living on City View Road, the corner of which the pub is on, and nearby Hercules Road.
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She said: “I have raised my concerns with the pub because since the picnic tables were brought in street parking nearby has got worse. I am also concerned that the pub has removed its disabled spaces in favour of the picnic benches.
“I understand that pubs are having to do things differently to survive but I hope we can find a solution that is reasonable and amicable for everyone in these difficult times.”
A spokesman for the pub has apologised for the difficulty neighbours are facing, but also speculated that it may not be pub patrons causing the problems.
The spokesman said: “We apologise to local people for any disruption. As far as we understand the cars parked on the pavements are not those of customers at the pub, but those visiting local amenities across the road from the pub.
“The majority of the pub’s customers are from the local community and walk to the pub.
“We will do our best to ensure that people’s drives are not blocked and ask anyone living in the area who believes a customer at the pub is blocking their drive to let a member of staff know.
“There are still 26 spaces for customers to park in the Wetherspoon car park and although the disabled bays have temporarily been removed, they will be reinstated at the side of the pub.”
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