J D Wetherspoons Planning Application

May 18, 2012

J D Wetherspoons  plans
JD Wetherspoons have put in a planning application for a change of use of 25 High Street
J D Wetherspoons  plans
from post office to public house.

Planned hours of opening are 7 am to 1:30 am.

The proposed seating area for customers extends into what was the old sorting office and so is about three times the size of the area where we used to queue for stamps.

Wetherspoons say in their application that this change will “increase shopper/visitor footfall in this part of town and re-introduce life and vibrancy to a prominent building that is currently a ‘dead’ unit.”

The full plans are at … VWHDC Planning

Filed under: Uncategorized

50 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. rudi  |  May 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    took long enough – first heard this seems like over a year ago.
    dare say that snobs will disapprove but it sure beats an empty building and it’s not like it was ever going to be a post office again

  • 2. Rachel  |  May 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    That’s good news. The old place has stood empty for ages and a nice place to have coffee and sit on comfy sofas will be a good thing.

  • 3. Piers Fallowcherry  |  May 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm


    Not the application (which is quite welcome, by the way) but you capturing the reality yet again.

    “Barman – two more awards over here, please.”

    Now for the one on the bridge … in some shape or form.

  • 4. coggin  |  May 19, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Abingdon needs new businesses coming into the town and a big name like Wetherspoons will help the growth into the town centre. This will be a large pub/restaurant seating up to 720 people, it will be a place to eat and drink before going onto other venues. It will smarten up the area, bring jobs to the town and competition to the other pubs, I can’t see the Grapes lasting but that hasn’t been a good place for Abingdon for a while.

  • 5. Peter, Minneapolis MN USA  |  May 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Good News! The ugly old P.O storefront has to go.
    Don’t let those naysayers get their knickers in a knot about J.D.Whetherspoons
    Hip, Hip, Hooray.

  • 6. Anne  |  May 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    There is a lot of work going on in the old Haken and Bell Music shop in the High Street. Does anyone know what that is to re-open as??

  • 7. Iain  |  May 19, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Yes – a- plan insurance are moving in there from a few doors down

  • 8. George  |  May 20, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I think it will be good for the town, but bad for some of the pubs, can’t see the stocks, harp or grapes lasting long. which is probably a good thing

  • 9. Steven Green  |  May 20, 2012 at 8:24 am

    There has been no evidence of Wetherspoons causing any other pubs to shut when they open in a town. The reverse normally happens as it encourages more people to go out into town.

    Oxford has 3 Wetherspoons, and no pubs near them have closed.

    Witney had one open a few months ago, and other landlords in the town have told us that they have seen their own trade increase, and no reports of any pubs struggling or about to close. Ironically, the objection from the Brewery Tap also supports this by noting there is more drunken/unruly behaviour in Witney town center, which I guess is a natural byproduct of there being more people drinking in town, depending on what kind of people they attract.

    Each Wetherspoons has its own management, so the atmosphere can be very different in them (especially in the evenings). Compare Oxford’s Four Candles on George Street with the Swan & Castle on Castle Street and they are very different. So whether it results in unruly/drunken behaviour or gets the moderate middle class family oriented drinker/diners depends on how it is managed.

  • 10. Planning Application for &hellip  |  May 20, 2012 at 9:34 am

    [...] the post at Abingdon Blog for photos and more [...]

  • 11. Shell Suit  |  May 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Capacity of 720? That’s enough to feed everyone in Abingdon once a week. Seems an ambitious business plan.

  • 12. Newcomer  |  May 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Abingdon has some very good pubs, but there’s a space in the market for Wetherspoons, who serve good real ales at ‘a working man’s price’ and value food in a decent environment. As Steven points out, the local management will set the atmosphere in the pub, but so will the reaction of the the people in the town. Walk into the Swan & Castle around 1:00 pm weekdays and it’s like a Darby and Joan lunch club.

    In every pub there’s an element of ‘Professional Drinkers’ but, in my experience, Wetherspoons do well to contain that problem.

    Of course, it would be nice to buy three pints in an Abingdon pub and have enough change from ten pounds such that it jingles in your pocket.

    And someone answer me this. … where has this 720 figure come from and, if real, what does it mean? It sounds like a ’shock and awe’ number to me. There’s nothing like the smell of dirty-tricks in the morning air …

    This could get dirty … cabaret time.

  • 13. John E  |  May 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    ..we’ll have a lot of eateries in town now; hope it works out; also need some decent and brighter lighting in High Street.

  • 14. Steven Green  |  May 21, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I just counted all the chairs on the ground floor plans and got 145 (32 of which are outside on the terrace).

  • 15. Steve  |  May 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

    About time too!
    Finally be able to get some decent ale at affordable prices. It could be tough for the Grapes, Harp, Blue Boar etc, but that is up to them to compete. If the grapes was worth drinking in then people would go there, simple as that.

    Just hope they will be supplying beer from the Loose cannon brewery as well as others. It’ll be nice to have a decent choice of ale other then Green King too :)

  • 16. Colin  |  May 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Haken and Bell/99p store.

    A-Plan Insurance are moving into it.
    {Transferring from the end}

    Only heard on ‘Grape Vine’ (so far).

  • 17. CST  |  May 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    At last.
    Now just watch the Ock street masons try there hardest to scupper this again.

  • 18. Steven Green  |  May 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    There is no need to rely on the ‘grape vine’…. A-Plan application is publicly available for all to see on the planning application web site since february:


  • 19. Pete  |  May 21, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Ah Wetherspoons !! …catering for the “all day drinker” with a selection of microwaved cat vomit meals, plus they’ll only have to nip over the road to the bookies… oh well, at least we’ll know where all the chavs are so can avoid them.

  • 20. Shell Suit  |  May 21, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Ah Pete. How we have missed your wit and wisdom. Are you by any chance a member of the group mentioned by CST?

    Which hostelry do you frequent? Please tell us, it must be quite delightful.

  • 21. Kat P  |  May 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    My experience of Weatherspoons is generally positive. They were the first pub chain to have dedicated non-smoking areas, which as a pub loving non-smoker I often frequented.

    I haven’t noticed them having a more ‘chavvy’ clientelle than many other pubs. Most of the peple I know who drink in Weatherspoons are real ale types.

    The food is a bit average but no worse than most pub chains.

  • 22. George  |  May 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Personally i think it’s a good thing, pubs like the stocks and the harp will loose their trade and close (no bad thing), the grapes, the new one and the blue boar will become the late night part, replacing stickies and people who dont mind paying a little bit more for a nice pint in a nice pub will still have the Kings and the Tap,

    The good thing is at least you know the spoons will be clean, unlike the tap and the broad face, 2 and 1 stars on the food agency ratings, disgusting,

  • 23. davidofabingdon  |  May 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Some of the food agency ratings in Abingdon are shocking. I was quite amazed when I found a number of well known businesses with zero or one stars – including a few I have eaten in recently. If a Witherpoons ups the game of some other local businesses perhaps that is a good thing.

    I believe that the last time there was a snifter of Witherspoons moving into abingdon some local businesses opposed the idea. It will be interesting to see whether the slowdown in Abingdon’s evening trade means that a Witherspoons will still meet with opposition.

  • 24. Cassandra  |  May 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Where does one find a posting of a Food Agency rating? Surely those who have a poor rating don’t display them? Is there a central soure for information?

  • 25. Steven Green  |  May 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm


  • 26. Agnes_C  |  May 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

    We have to make sure this actually happens this time! Didn’t Wetherspoons try and get into the Pulpit house before which eventually became ‘Ask’? I love the KHB and the Tap, but I can’t keep affording £4 a pint. I’m not so keen on the Grapes, Blue Boar, Black Swan so it would be good to have a new bright pub with drinks at a decent price. I for one would come into the town centre more frequently if it didn’t cost £40 just for two of us to go out for a few drinks. Our ‘local’ is the Spread, which is great, but gets booked up for food so you can’t just turn up of an evening and expect to get a meal. Hurrah I say :-)

  • 27. Tim  |  May 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

    As a consumer Wetherspoons are great. However they make their money by squeezing the suppliers so that they barely make a profit or none at all. A friend of mine is a professional brewer and he was approached by the company to sell his beer. They offered him £42 a firkin!!! He can’t make it for that!! He promptly told them where to go.
    Loddon Brewery have their beers in all the Wethersponns in the Berkshire area. Chris Hearn the head brewer is quite open about the that he makes no money out of it and uses it as an advertising tool. That’s all good and well if you are established enough.
    It will probably do the world of good for the town centre, its just a shame their work practise leaves a lot to be desired

  • 28. chris Hearn  |  May 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    With reference to Tims comment (27) I dont know where he gets his information from but I can assure you we would not supply Wetherspoons if we didn’t make a decent margin. So there is no truth in the rumour.
    Chris Hearn
    Loddon Brewery

  • 29. Tim  |  May 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I’m pleased to hear it Chris. That rumour came from a Camra source, probably best I say nothing more than that!!

  • 30. Kat P  |  May 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    @Tim – even if it were true, that’s surely up to breweries to decide for themselves?

    @Chris – thanks for the nice beer :-)

  • 31. George  |  May 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I think you can say if somewhere is not showing their rating, it was probably a bad one!

  • 32. CST  |  June 26, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Any news on this yet? the application council website says the decision was due Saturday.

  • 33. Agnes_C  |  June 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    It looks as if the council have seen sense! Planning permission has been granted to Wetherspoons. See:

  • 34. Ste  |  July 4, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Thank god for that….perhaps that might make the Kings Head & Taps prices a bit more competitive!

  • 35. Steve Westwick  |  August 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Any news on an opening date for the new pub?

  • 36. T Sexon  |  November 4, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Fantastic news , the question on everyones lips is

    When is the pub opening does anybody know ?

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  • 40. karen  |  December 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I am Glad Post Office Abingdon will be wetherspoon, I love go there for Nice Meal & Drink,

  • 41. karen  |  December 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm

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  • 43. James  |  March 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    It looks like there is a certain lack of loyalty or an overly keen sense of “finally, a good place to drink”

    Weatherspoons is a big name and will hopefully bring some more trade, however all the pubs in the town will be affected for better or for worse.

    I wouldn’t wish closure on any pub (George), I happen to now many of the local landlords, not one of them has entered into the industry without putting their heart and soul Into it, no pub closing would be a good thing.

    The real issue here is the pretence that people don’t have a right to chose where they drink, they do.

    Weather spoons doesn’t stop customers from going round the town, like Steven green said, it will hopeuflly bring some more in, I’d thank busybody George to kindly sheath his steel tongue and actually contribute to the growth of our community, if we all support each other, the only way is up.

  • 44. Steven Green  |  March 13, 2013 at 2:07 am

    I contacted Wetherspoons last week to try and find out when it might be opening.

    It looks like it will be several more months before it is open. The work going on now is the landlord bringing up the property up to a standard so that they can complete the acquisition. Then they will have to do all the fitting and recruitment, which normally takes a couple of months.

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