Lancashire TelegraphPlan for Darwen Wetherspoon scheme still on course (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Plan for Darwen Wetherspoon scheme still on course

Lancashire Telegraph: TARGET The former Wesleyan Methodist Church which J D Wetherspoon wants as a pub TARGET The former Wesleyan Methodist Church which J D Wetherspoon wants as a pub

PLANS to bring a JD Wetherspoon pub to Darwen are getting closer, but the process is still a long way from completion.

Bosses at the discount pub chain took over the former Railway Road Wesleyan Methodist Church after it was vacated by discount shop A&M Bargains last year.

Plans to transform the building into one of its pubs were approved by Blackburn with Darwen Council’s planning committee in June, but it has stood empty ever since.

Rumours that a covenant preventing the sale of alcohol had proved a stumbling block have been denied by a spokeswoman for the Methodist Church.

She said there had been a covenant but it had ended a year ago.

Bosses at the chain confirmed they were still interested in the site, but said it would be a while before the pub would be ready.

Spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “Since we were given planning permission, we have revised the scheme somewhat.

“Because it is a listed building, we had to resubmit for listed building consent. That went in on December 17.

“And an application for a licence to sell alcohol will be submitted in the next fortnight.

“If both of these go as we hope, then we will be ready to finalise the purchase of the building.”

Mr Gershon added that an exchange had been made for the building, but the firm would not finalise the deal until the final go-ahead was given by the borough council.

He said: “We are as keen as ever to open a pub in Darwen.

“We haven’t got a date for when work could start or anything at the moment but things are moving in the right direction.”

The church, which dates from the mid-19th century, closed in 1968.

A&M Bargains closed in January last year, when owner Amanda Whittingham pulled out after 14 years of trading in the town.

Comments (17)

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12:16pm Fri 4 Jan 13

hasslem hasslem says...

shame to see one of the few landmark buildings in darwen stood empty.

wetherspoons do well by offering a quality product at an excellent price and, in my view, would be a great addition to the town.
shame to see one of the few landmark buildings in darwen stood empty. wetherspoons do well by offering a quality product at an excellent price and, in my view, would be a great addition to the town. hasslem hasslem
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Fri 4 Jan 13

bow1974 says...

If it serves food like the postal order in blackburn has been doing lately then i wouldn't waste my money the food used to be ok but my last two visits i have left the pub in disgust and the staff don't seem to care anymore the place has gone down hill.Try the fearnhurst or houghton arms much better quality.
If it serves food like the postal order in blackburn has been doing lately then i wouldn't waste my money the food used to be ok but my last two visits i have left the pub in disgust and the staff don't seem to care anymore the place has gone down hill.Try the fearnhurst or houghton arms much better quality. bow1974
  • Score: 0

1:51pm Fri 4 Jan 13

arrod baw says...

Stop dithering and get it open quick...cheap ale and cheap decent grub...will do a roaring trade!
Stop dithering and get it open quick...cheap ale and cheap decent grub...will do a roaring trade! arrod baw
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Fri 4 Jan 13

amazed says...

A bit upsetting for the Bridgewater and Millstone I would think!!

Had a good night out at Mangiamos - excellent service on a Saturday night and good food. The place was packed and I am not surprised!

Nice to find a place who care......
A bit upsetting for the Bridgewater and Millstone I would think!! Had a good night out at Mangiamos - excellent service on a Saturday night and good food. The place was packed and I am not surprised! Nice to find a place who care...... amazed
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Fri 4 Jan 13

2 for 5p says...

It will be a great addition to the town:

Oh what's that I can hear in the background it sounds like boarding up men getting ready to board up all the darwen back street rat hole pubs. :-)

:-). :-). :-)
It will be a great addition to the town: Oh what's that I can hear in the background it sounds like boarding up men getting ready to board up all the darwen back street rat hole pubs. :-) :-). :-). :-) 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Fri 4 Jan 13

darwen_celeb says...

Hurry up and get it open, it will be an excellent addition to the town. It will certainly encourage more people to venture out and boost Darwen's night time economy.

Darwenners don't take up residence in one pub ALL night we like to have a 'pub-crawl' (sadly something that can no longer be done in Blackburn)... So having three BIG pubs (Lodges, Bridgewater and Millstone) AND Marigolds, Bar 38, Belgrave and Crown in the centre - with excellent feeder pubs a short walk away (Spinners, Vic, Last Orders, Swan, Enty and Park)... is enough pubs to have an actual night out, the addition of Lodges will bolster the offering and possibly encourage drinkers from Egerton and Blackburn into our lovely little town for a tipple.

It will be MUCH MUCH MUCH better than what Blackburn has to offer which is appalling, unless you are underage.
Hurry up and get it open, it will be an excellent addition to the town. It will certainly encourage more people to venture out and boost Darwen's night time economy. Darwenners don't take up residence in one pub ALL night we like to have a 'pub-crawl' (sadly something that can no longer be done in Blackburn)... So having three BIG pubs (Lodges, Bridgewater and Millstone) AND Marigolds, Bar 38, Belgrave and Crown in the centre - with excellent feeder pubs a short walk away (Spinners, Vic, Last Orders, Swan, Enty and Park)... is enough pubs to have an actual night out, the addition of Lodges will bolster the offering and possibly encourage drinkers from Egerton and Blackburn into our lovely little town for a tipple. It will be MUCH MUCH MUCH better than what Blackburn has to offer which is appalling, unless you are underage. darwen_celeb
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Fri 4 Jan 13

darwen_celeb says...

What town centre pubs does Blackburn actually still have open other than the Whetherspoons 'Postal Order'?

It must be few?
What town centre pubs does Blackburn actually still have open other than the Whetherspoons 'Postal Order'? It must be few? darwen_celeb
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Fri 4 Jan 13

louderfasterlonger says...

darwen_celeb wrote:
Hurry up and get it open, it will be an excellent addition to the town. It will certainly encourage more people to venture out and boost Darwen's night time economy. Darwenners don't take up residence in one pub ALL night we like to have a 'pub-crawl' (sadly something that can no longer be done in Blackburn)... So having three BIG pubs (Lodges, Bridgewater and Millstone) AND Marigolds, Bar 38, Belgrave and Crown in the centre - with excellent feeder pubs a short walk away (Spinners, Vic, Last Orders, Swan, Enty and Park)... is enough pubs to have an actual night out, the addition of Lodges will bolster the offering and possibly encourage drinkers from Egerton and Blackburn into our lovely little town for a tipple. It will be MUCH MUCH MUCH better than what Blackburn has to offer which is appalling, unless you are underage.
Bridge Street, or meet at the Engine, Alex, Briish Queen or Vic and walk into town. A little further is the Anchor, Borough, Greenfield, Heifer. 40p each in a taxi from/to anywhere in Darwen - have I missed any ?
Black Horse... if you don't fancy any of the pubs mentioned in both quotes then you DESERVE Blackburn.
[quote][p][bold]darwen_celeb[/bold] wrote: Hurry up and get it open, it will be an excellent addition to the town. It will certainly encourage more people to venture out and boost Darwen's night time economy. Darwenners don't take up residence in one pub ALL night we like to have a 'pub-crawl' (sadly something that can no longer be done in Blackburn)... So having three BIG pubs (Lodges, Bridgewater and Millstone) AND Marigolds, Bar 38, Belgrave and Crown in the centre - with excellent feeder pubs a short walk away (Spinners, Vic, Last Orders, Swan, Enty and Park)... is enough pubs to have an actual night out, the addition of Lodges will bolster the offering and possibly encourage drinkers from Egerton and Blackburn into our lovely little town for a tipple. It will be MUCH MUCH MUCH better than what Blackburn has to offer which is appalling, unless you are underage.[/p][/quote]Bridge Street, or meet at the Engine, Alex, Briish Queen or Vic and walk into town. A little further is the Anchor, Borough, Greenfield, Heifer. 40p each in a taxi from/to anywhere in Darwen - have I missed any ? Black Horse... if you don't fancy any of the pubs mentioned in both quotes then you DESERVE Blackburn. louderfasterlonger
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Councillor Duncan says...

(former councillor) this is great news for the town and could be great news for both the Bridgewater and the Millstone. If the rail services get their act together on friday and saturday evenings, or even the bus companies, we could see visitors to the town from Clitheroe, Blackburn, Bolton and possibly Bury.
The opportunity lies not only in the new pub itself but how the town markets it's watering holes with live music and live sport, and of course an excellent variety of restuarants
(former councillor) this is great news for the town and could be great news for both the Bridgewater and the Millstone. If the rail services get their act together on friday and saturday evenings, or even the bus companies, we could see visitors to the town from Clitheroe, Blackburn, Bolton and possibly Bury. The opportunity lies not only in the new pub itself but how the town markets it's watering holes with live music and live sport, and of course an excellent variety of restuarants Councillor Duncan
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Darwen Malc says...

On Fri & Sat, last trains to Blackburn around 2340, and to Bolton and Manchester around 2310 so could well attract people into town, then they could head towards their home towns for the clubs (although not sure about Blackburnians!). But another pub serving proper real ales to complement Darwens other real ale pubs could further make this town a proper magnet for real ale fans!
On Fri & Sat, last trains to Blackburn around 2340, and to Bolton and Manchester around 2310 so could well attract people into town, then they could head towards their home towns for the clubs (although not sure about Blackburnians!). But another pub serving proper real ales to complement Darwens other real ale pubs could further make this town a proper magnet for real ale fans! Darwen Malc
  • Score: 0

10:40pm Fri 4 Jan 13

fireonthemountain says...

Mixed feelings here I'm afraid .

Now anything that provides employment is good news . Anything that does up an empty building - fantastic . A company quoted on The Stock Market invests in Darwen - yes please !

Also - as 2for5p says - closing down the rat hole back street drug dens ..oops sorry pubs - superb .

But .

1 - do we really want Blackburn louts coming here ?

2 - rail and bus services - just what every bus driver looks forward to - weekend midnight runs to council estates with thiry-odd drunks on board . You ever tried a late night train ? Try the last one from Manchester to Blackburn . You'll only do it once .

Though I did get off at Darwen , and walked up Kay Street . That was fun .

3 - what about the daytime customers ? The permanent scruffs who infest . Who certainly led to the demise of Frankies Bar (or whatever it was called) . damaged the Millstones , the New Inn , the George . I'm sure you can add to that list .

Where do they drink nowadays ? I only ask so I can avoid .

4 - Any chance of some decent shops ? That would bring people in .
Pound shops , bookies , charity shops and takeaways do not .

Then again any decent shoe shops , sports shops , toy shops , hobby , books , antiques etc would either be destroyed by exhorbitant rates or shoplifters .

5 - may I ask for clarifaction of our
" excellent variety of restaurants" ?
Have I failed to notice the Italian "Trattorias" - the French "Nouvelle Cuisine" - the Spanish "Tapas" - the Greek , Turkish , Malaysian and Thai
in Darwen ?

Guess we get what we deserve .

How sad .
Mixed feelings here I'm afraid . Now anything that provides employment is good news . Anything that does up an empty building - fantastic . A company quoted on The Stock Market invests in Darwen - yes please ! Also - as 2for5p says - closing down the rat hole back street drug dens ..oops sorry pubs - superb . But . 1 - do we really want Blackburn louts coming here ? 2 - rail and bus services - just what every bus driver looks forward to - weekend midnight runs to council estates with thiry-odd drunks on board . You ever tried a late night train ? Try the last one from Manchester to Blackburn . You'll only do it once . Though I did get off at Darwen , and walked up Kay Street . That was fun . 3 - what about the daytime customers ? The permanent scruffs who infest . Who certainly led to the demise of Frankies Bar (or whatever it was called) . damaged the Millstones , the New Inn , the George . I'm sure you can add to that list . Where do they drink nowadays ? I only ask so I can avoid . 4 - Any chance of some decent shops ? That would bring people in . Pound shops , bookies , charity shops and takeaways do not . Then again any decent shoe shops , sports shops , toy shops , hobby , books , antiques etc would either be destroyed by exhorbitant rates or shoplifters . 5 - may I ask for clarifaction of our " excellent variety of restaurants" ? Have I failed to notice the Italian "Trattorias" - the French "Nouvelle Cuisine" - the Spanish "Tapas" - the Greek , Turkish , Malaysian and Thai in Darwen ? Guess we get what we deserve . How sad . fireonthemountain
  • Score: 0

10:49pm Fri 4 Jan 13

GrindletonBob says...

I had a great night out in Darwen recently, a good range of pubs and bars and a decent atmosphere and sadly agree with some of the comments above regarding the demise of Blackburn's nightlife and I'm originally from Blackburn! So many pubs have closed in the town centre (due to the growing number of residents who don't drink I guess, amongst other reasons). There's little choice left for a good night out. Quite a few places have closed in Darwen but not in the same quantities as Blackburn and this is now very apparent.

Out of interest, anyone know how many pubs are still open in Blackburn town centre and how many in Darwen?
I had a great night out in Darwen recently, a good range of pubs and bars and a decent atmosphere and sadly agree with some of the comments above regarding the demise of Blackburn's nightlife and I'm originally from Blackburn! So many pubs have closed in the town centre (due to the growing number of residents who don't drink I guess, amongst other reasons). There's little choice left for a good night out. Quite a few places have closed in Darwen but not in the same quantities as Blackburn and this is now very apparent. Out of interest, anyone know how many pubs are still open in Blackburn town centre and how many in Darwen? GrindletonBob
  • Score: 0

11:58pm Fri 4 Jan 13

thoroughbred says...

fireonthemountain wrote:
Mixed feelings here I'm afraid .

Now anything that provides employment is good news . Anything that does up an empty building - fantastic . A company quoted on The Stock Market invests in Darwen - yes please !

Also - as 2for5p says - closing down the rat hole back street drug dens ..oops sorry pubs - superb .

But .

1 - do we really want Blackburn louts coming here ?

2 - rail and bus services - just what every bus driver looks forward to - weekend midnight runs to council estates with thiry-odd drunks on board . You ever tried a late night train ? Try the last one from Manchester to Blackburn . You'll only do it once .

Though I did get off at Darwen , and walked up Kay Street . That was fun .

3 - what about the daytime customers ? The permanent scruffs who infest . Who certainly led to the demise of Frankies Bar (or whatever it was called) . damaged the Millstones , the New Inn , the George . I'm sure you can add to that list .

Where do they drink nowadays ? I only ask so I can avoid .

4 - Any chance of some decent shops ? That would bring people in .
Pound shops , bookies , charity shops and takeaways do not .

Then again any decent shoe shops , sports shops , toy shops , hobby , books , antiques etc would either be destroyed by exhorbitant rates or shoplifters .

5 - may I ask for clarifaction of our
" excellent variety of restaurants" ?
Have I failed to notice the Italian "Trattorias" - the French "Nouvelle Cuisine" - the Spanish "Tapas" - the Greek , Turkish , Malaysian and Thai
in Darwen ?

Guess we get what we deserve .

How sad .
OMG...I want to slit my wrists reading this!

It isn't going to attract anymore Blackburnians than it already does, Blackburn has it's own Weatherspoons, so why travel 5 miles for the same?

Any pub co investing in East Lancashire can only be beneficial to the area...have you noticed the state of the pub trade?

As for good grub, Darwen has an abundance, Weatherspoons is sh*te, frozen, measured portions of fat and carbs, cheap 'n' cheerful, if that's what you like, but far from healthy!
Saying that....bring it on Weatherspoons and bloody good luck to you, people will trot between the 3 main market area pubs and not have a need to leave Darwen, hence more jobs and a boost to the Darren economy!
[quote][p][bold]fireonthemountain[/bold] wrote: Mixed feelings here I'm afraid . Now anything that provides employment is good news . Anything that does up an empty building - fantastic . A company quoted on The Stock Market invests in Darwen - yes please ! Also - as 2for5p says - closing down the rat hole back street drug dens ..oops sorry pubs - superb . But . 1 - do we really want Blackburn louts coming here ? 2 - rail and bus services - just what every bus driver looks forward to - weekend midnight runs to council estates with thiry-odd drunks on board . You ever tried a late night train ? Try the last one from Manchester to Blackburn . You'll only do it once . Though I did get off at Darwen , and walked up Kay Street . That was fun . 3 - what about the daytime customers ? The permanent scruffs who infest . Who certainly led to the demise of Frankies Bar (or whatever it was called) . damaged the Millstones , the New Inn , the George . I'm sure you can add to that list . Where do they drink nowadays ? I only ask so I can avoid . 4 - Any chance of some decent shops ? That would bring people in . Pound shops , bookies , charity shops and takeaways do not . Then again any decent shoe shops , sports shops , toy shops , hobby , books , antiques etc would either be destroyed by exhorbitant rates or shoplifters . 5 - may I ask for clarifaction of our " excellent variety of restaurants" ? Have I failed to notice the Italian "Trattorias" - the French "Nouvelle Cuisine" - the Spanish "Tapas" - the Greek , Turkish , Malaysian and Thai in Darwen ? Guess we get what we deserve . How sad .[/p][/quote]OMG...I want to slit my wrists reading this! It isn't going to attract anymore Blackburnians than it already does, Blackburn has it's own Weatherspoons, so why travel 5 miles for the same? Any pub co investing in East Lancashire can only be beneficial to the area...have you noticed the state of the pub trade? As for good grub, Darwen has an abundance, Weatherspoons is sh*te, frozen, measured portions of fat and carbs, cheap 'n' cheerful, if that's what you like, but far from healthy! Saying that....bring it on Weatherspoons and bloody good luck to you, people will trot between the 3 main market area pubs and not have a need to leave Darwen, hence more jobs and a boost to the Darren economy! thoroughbred
  • Score: 0

12:48am Sat 5 Jan 13

sean_brfc says...

Why do people quote the Millstone as one of the big 3? Even after being done up it's still awful. If it closes down it will be Thwaites fault and not Wetherspoons'. Millstone aside, however, the pubs in Darwen are excellent and bring on another.
Why do people quote the Millstone as one of the big 3? Even after being done up it's still awful. If it closes down it will be Thwaites fault and not Wetherspoons'. Millstone aside, however, the pubs in Darwen are excellent and bring on another. sean_brfc
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Sat 5 Jan 13

darwen_celeb says...

The renovated building on Foundry Street will surely see someone take this on in 2013... hopefully as an authentic Calabrian restaurant!

http://www.lancashir
etelegraph.co.uk/new
s/blackburndarwenhyn
dburnribble/4706475.
Cafe_and_bistro_bid_
could_be_part_of_Dar
wen_regeneration_wor
ks/?action=complain&
cid=8067740

And the Tapas Bar under Marigolds is rumoured to also be renovating with the addition of a cocktail bar adjacent...

If the Library Theatre gets a good programme of events too - stand up, etc the town will offer a good night out... Even better than now.
The renovated building on Foundry Street will surely see someone take this on in 2013... hopefully as an authentic Calabrian restaurant! http://www.lancashir etelegraph.co.uk/new s/blackburndarwenhyn dburnribble/4706475. Cafe_and_bistro_bid_ could_be_part_of_Dar wen_regeneration_wor ks/?action=complain& cid=8067740 And the Tapas Bar under Marigolds is rumoured to also be renovating with the addition of a cocktail bar adjacent... If the Library Theatre gets a good programme of events too - stand up, etc the town will offer a good night out... Even better than now. darwen_celeb
  • Score: 0

11:20pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Real Ale Up North says...

Wetherspoons will be good news for Darwen.The two in Burnley and the one in Accrington, are excellent.Darwen already has two great microbreweries serving the local community.I will certainly be visiting the town.
Wetherspoons will be good news for Darwen.The two in Burnley and the one in Accrington, are excellent.Darwen already has two great microbreweries serving the local community.I will certainly be visiting the town. Real Ale Up North
  • Score: 0

11:24pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Meerkat.com says...

The renovated building on foundry st has some interest , some Italian from great hardwood is sorting out some funding apparently.

Tapizza closed for for work to be done and is opening very soon with an additional wine bar , I'm quite excited about this because the food from Tapizza was quality and the atmosphere was nice and relaxing , I've been told its going to be even better than before :)

The downside to the new witherspoons will be the food really , if the bridge water and fernhurst are anything to go off it'll just be more cheap microwaved stodge , I dunno how people eat that cr@p but I suppose anythings better than nothing to put something in your stomach before getting hammered !!
The renovated building on foundry st has some interest , some Italian from great hardwood is sorting out some funding apparently. Tapizza closed for for work to be done and is opening very soon with an additional wine bar , I'm quite excited about this because the food from Tapizza was quality and the atmosphere was nice and relaxing , I've been told its going to be even better than before :) The downside to the new witherspoons will be the food really , if the bridge water and fernhurst are anything to go off it'll just be more cheap microwaved stodge , I dunno how people eat that cr@p but I suppose anythings better than nothing to put something in your stomach before getting hammered !! Meerkat.com
  • Score: 0

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