Sykes backs pub bid

Date published: 16 March 2011

OLDHAM Council’s leader has offered to work with Wetherspoons to bring a new pub to Shaw.

The pub chain withdrew a controversial application to transform the derelict Four Lane End shopping centre in Milnrow Road after planning officers recommended refusal.

But Councillor Howard Sykes, who is also a Shaw parish councillor, has now written to Wetherspoons to explain why people were against the proposal and encourage a development to take place.

In his letter to Wetherspoons’ head of property John Randall, Councillor Sykes explained that there were two key issues.

He said: “The first relates to the sustainability and viability of the town centre and ensuring Shaw retains a balanced mix of uses that supports the local community, and ensures both a vibrant daytime and evening economy.

“In the case of your application your proposal would have resulted in a significant shift in the balance of uses away from retail.

“The second issue was the rear beer garden and outside smoking area.

“It is considered that given the close proximity of residential development to the rear of your site, there would be a significant impact both on local residents and also on your ability to operate free of noise nuisance/disturbance issues.”

He said he was heartened to read in the Chronicle that Wetherspoons is still committed to Shaw, adding: “My experience locally indicates that the community would welcome your business into the area.

“I have no doubt that we can work with you to bring forward a scheme in Shaw that will meet our joint aspirations, of securing both a high quality and sustainable inward investment alongside the creation of local employment opportunities together with a profitable and locally supported community facility.

“As a local councillor, as would my colleagues, I would be very interested in an early discussion about how we could work together to bring forward such a development in Shaw, being mindful of the concerns expressed with the last application.”

The shopping centre, also known as Greensway, was destroyed by fire in December, 2009.

The development would bring much-needed jobs and investment to the dilapidated site — but concerns have been raised over the number of pubs and takeaways already in the centre of Shaw.

Wetherspoons has 793 pubs nationwide, including the Up Steps and Squire Knott in Oldham town centre.