The former office of a weekly newspaper could be turned into a Wetherspoons pub, it has been revealed.
The Rutland and Stamford Mercury’s former base on Sheep Market in Stamford is set to be turned into a new branch of the pub giant.
JD Wetherspoons has applied for a premises licence at the former newspaper office in a move which could see it spend £1.2m and create around 50 new jobs.
Staff from the Johnston Press title moved last month from their home of many years to new premises at Cherryholt Road in Stamford.
JD Wetherspoons was granted planning permission in June to turn the former newspaper office into a pub but the company submitted a further application last month asking for the opening hours to be increased.
In the latest application, the pub giant complains about the “unreasonable and unnecessary” restrictions on the opening hours it was allowed and said it may pull out of the town if longer hours were not granted.
A letter from Signet Planning on behalf of Wetherspoons said: “JD Wetherspoon is proposing a substantial commercial investment into Stamford of circa £1.2m.
“However, a robust business case is required. The vast majority of public houses within Stamford Town Centre are permitted to retail alcohol for longer hours that my client’s proposed premises.
“JD Wetherspoon simply seeks a level commercial playing field in which to operate within the town. In the absence of this, its investment and the creation of circa 50 jobs for local people is now in doubt.”
The latest planning application has yet to be determined by South Kesteven District Council, which will also decide on the licensing application.
The Mercury told readers earlier this year that it was moving to a new office in Cherryholt Road, where it is based on the first floor of Cherryholt House.
At the time, editor Eileen Green said the title would continue to serve readers and advertisers from the new premises.