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Wetherspoons submits new futuristic plans for two-storey glass-domed pub in Ilfracombe

By NDJJoel  |  Posted: April 10, 2013

  • The futuristic Wetherspoons plan for Ilfracombe

Comments (12)

Pub chain Wetherspoons has submitted plans for a futuristic two-storey pub and restaurant at the former Collingwood Hotel site in Ilfracombe.
The national firm says its iconic curved design, which boasts a glass dome and roof terrace, reflects the town's seaside heritage and could trigger further development on the sea front.
However, the plans do not include provision of a hotel which had been included in previous plans submitted by the company in 2011.
Wetherspoons submitted this latest application to North Devon Council on March 28 and the plans are under consultation until May 9.
However, the accompanying documents and pictures have not been accessible to the public until this morning.
The plans for the Wilder Road site show an eye-catching futuristic building constructed using materials such as glass, copper, aluminium and stone.
A supporting statement with the application said many designs had been considered in recent years.
It said: "The site needs a building that will rejuvenate the area.
"A Victorian style was considered but it was felt this style of modern pastiche would not sit well against the original Victorian buildings and that a more modern approach was needed.
"This style, whilst reflecting the seaside heritage also, fits with a modern construction of clean lines, bold geometry and minimal ornament."
Inside the pub will feature several bespoke fire places, one large bar and sculptures and artwork from local artists.
Outside there will be a beer garden at the front of the building and a roof terrace with a sheltered lounge and heaters.
The building will also include a lift.
A 17-space car park with a barrier entry system will be included at the rear of the building.
Wetherspoons says it will address crime and antisocial behaviour at the pub by not offering 2-for-1 or all-you-can-drink deals and by providing a wide range of non-alcoholic drinks.
The firm's management plan says staff are trained to continually assess the sobriety of customers and that CCTV will be provided throughout our premises.
Wetherspoons hope the pub will open from 7am to 12.30am from Sunday to Wednesday, and from 7am to 1.30am from Thursday to Saturday.
The application states the pub will not play music.
Residents will also be asked to submit suggestions for the pub's name as part of a competition during the construction of the building.
In 2011 Wetherspoons submitted plans to build a 52-bedroom hotel and public house at the site which were approved by North Devon Council.
However, the supporting statement with the new application says: "This scheme does not propose hotel accommodation.
"The client believes creating an attractive building will bring more tourists to the area which will encourage people to use the surrounding hotels and accommodation facilities therefore enhancing the sustainability of this part of Ilfracombe."
Ilfracombe town and district councillor Philip Webb, who is also a member of the town's marketing and development sites group, said he was very excited by the plans.
He said: "This is great news for Ilfracombe as we will soon be getting a top quality facility for locals and tourists.
"This is a big investment in our town and will create much needed jobs, boost the economy and smarten up the seafront.
"Myself and others have been working with Wetherspoons since the beginning of the year to bring this good news to the town and I hope to be amongst the first to sample the excellent food and drink that will be on offer from 2014."

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  • Tony_Olsson  |  April 10 2013, 8:45PM

    I like it. It looks great and will not look out of place where it is located. I am amazed the people of Ilfracombe appear to like it. They usually reject anything new and modern out of hand. It gives me a glimmer of hope for the future of Ilfracombe. I can't say the same for Ilfracombe Council though. Why is Philip Webb trying to gain some kudos for a scheme prepared by a developer? Whilst I wholeheartedly support this imaginative and eye-catching project, my impression is that Weatherspoon's have put one over our gullible Councillors. First they secured planning permission for a scheme to convert an empty hotel using the existing shell so it blended in with other buildings on the sea front. Secondly they announced it was structurally unsound and would have to be demolished. Thirdly they got the Council to approve plans for a modern reincarnation of the existing hotel which they would build to replace the one they intended to demolish. Fourthly, they demolished it. Now, many months later, they have come up with a much more economically sensible and suitable scheme which bears no visual relationship to the original, but which won't have to battle its way through planning meeting after planning meeting after public enquiry, because the problem of having to demolish a long established landmark is no longer an obstacle to their plans. I think that's rather clever of Weatherspoons, but a bit dumb of Ilfracombe Council. Unlike the critic who rubbished Weatherspoon's meals, after having dined at the Panniers in Barnstaple a few times, I have no complaints, and hope to sit down for a meal on opening day. It may not be the Ritz (people die there) but I'd rather visit Weatherspoons Ilfracombe than a certain other expensive dining establishment further down the road.

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  • skareggae72  |  April 10 2013, 3:14PM

    The metal theft crowd will be jumping up & down with excitement leenewham.

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  • murun  |  April 10 2013, 1:22PM


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  • murun  |  April 10 2013, 1:20PM


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  • murun  |  April 10 2013, 1:16PM


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  • leenewham  |  April 10 2013, 12:58PM

    The planning application number is 55520 if anyone wants a closer look. http://tinyurl.com/d6a63hw The roof will be copper (expensive!) so will be green (the visual above doesnt show this which is misleading), the bottom part will be in a blue brick (not sure about that). The walls will be cream. What it doesn't show, which is odd, is the Wetherspoons signage. It would be good it they incorporated that cleverly into the building.

  • skareggae72  |  April 10 2013, 10:59AM

    Lets hope this construction blends in (when or if) it is build. I cannot tell from the images here,so hopefully it will not be cheap tat thrown up quickly at a low cost with cheap materials,as this is in a key position,not tucked away in a side street. I once worked on a shopping center which was build beautifully but then they threw a tin roof on the top so always expect the unexpected.

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  • leenewham  |  April 10 2013, 9:30AM

    I thought that a new planning appIication would be submitted as building work took so long to start! I think it's very difficult to judge it by this tiny image and very basic render what it will really look like. Many buildings look good in images like this but disappoint when built. Ilfracombe doesn't have a great history of new architecture. The Cliff Hydro building looks odd, the Landmark (which I don't mind) is pretty unpopular locally as a piece of architecture. If it isn't finished to a very high degree with materials that can cope with the salty air, then it could be a disaster. A very close eye needs to be kept on the developers to ensure that they don't dumb down the building, whatever the design is. I'd like to see some more details and what the materials really are, this is a very basic image which doesn't give much away. It needs to stand the test of time, be low maintenance and look very very sharp to work. Modern buildings in Victorian towns do work, the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea is very futuristic (although modenrist/art deco circa 1935) but looks amazing. Totally agree with Sue, that it doesn't need a hotel. Many are empty anyway and the hotel industry has been in decline since my families days of running the Carlton. I hope it all works out. Ilfracombe needs some love.

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  • Free2opine  |  April 10 2013, 9:29AM

    Wetherspoons........a restaurant......!!!??? Have you ever eaten at one of their places? I would rather have a greasy spoon than what they pass for food. In fact I would rather starve. Battered grissle which was being passed off as something edible! My daughter's dish was cold and looked as if it were left over scrapings from the day before. Still it is a lovely looking building, can't argue with that.

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  • Sue200  |  April 10 2013, 9:03AM

    R-Sole87 Wetherspoons have a restaurant.

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