Hundreds of people objected to Wetherspoon’s plans to open a pub in the old London Road Co-Op – with just one person writing in support.
The pub was last month told its bid to open a third Brighton pub was refused on the grounds it would be a loss of retail space and would create a noise nuisance.
And planning documents reveal the decision was made following an avalanche of opposition from councillors, residents, businesses, MP Caroline Lucas and one of the students living above.
The London Road Town Team organised a petition which 255 residents and shoppers signed, objecting to the loss of retail to a drinking establishment which could attract anti-social behaviour.
46 people wrote individual letters objecting to the proposals, including a resident of the student housing above it, who wrote: “Abacus is accommodation for predominantly post graduates who need a quiet environment to focus on their studies.
“The pub would increase the noise pollution until late at night resulting in lack of sleep and a noisy studying environment.
“This is already the case with the gym and we can hear the treadmills and weights that drop on the ground.”
Another letter said: “London Road has only just begun to establish itself as an acceptable area for families, locals and visitors with slightly less likelihood of intimidation by inebriated punters.
“There has been a massive input by the London Road Local Action Team, the police, the city council, and Mary Portas project to transform an area that was woefully rundown and dangerous to a road we are all starting to feel proud of.
“The independent retailers that have opened here have extended the feel of the North Laine.
“Wetherspoons has a bad reputation of encouraging excessive drinking with low cost alcohol and the effect on London Road would be detrimental.”
Former councillor Ian Davey and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas also objected, the latter saying: “Given the significant attempts to reduce anti-social behaviour in the London Road area, with specific focus being placed on the link between alcohol and anti-social behaviour, I do not believe that a change of use is compatible with local priorities or appropriate in this instance.”
In addition, the London Road Area Local Action Team, Sussex Police, Rose Hill residents meeting and the council’s own heritage team objected for a variety of reasons.
In contrast, just one letter, from a resident of Highbrook Close in Moulsecoomb, supported the application on the grounds that Wetherspoon pubs are well-run, adding: “It will fit well with the area and will complement the ongoing regeneration of London Road.”