Pub giant JD Wetherspoon has revealed its intention to come to Bourne, although no paperwork has yet been signed.
An application to change the use of two shops in North Street, Wands and Jenny May, was submitted by the chain on Friday last week.
The plans were then withdrawn yesterday, when Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are keen to open a pub in Bourne and have identified a site, however, we are still in negotiations.
“We believe that a Wetherspoon pub will be good for the town and appeal to a wide range of people, many of whom already enjoy our pubs in the region.”
In the last couple of years the chain has opened The Stamford Post in the old Rutland and Stamford Mercury offices, and the Captain Noel Newton in Oakham.
According to the now-withdrawn planning application drawn up by LBP Architects, which was still available under reference S15/2378 at www.southkesteven.gov.uk, the two shops at numbers 44 to 48 North Street would be turned into one pub, with an outdoor smoking area at the back.
JD Wetherspoon would not confirm when the plans would be resubmitted.
Wands closed in May and is now empty, but bedding shop Jenny May is still open and operating as normal. Owner Jenny Richardson, who leases the unit, said she was aware of the interest but was “not convinced they are going to get planning permission.”
She did admit that if planning permission was granted then she would have to close, adding: “There is nowhere else in Bourne that’s suitable for me. It’s quite a big shop.
“There are no other units that are big enough and are available. It would be an enormous loss to the town.”
Bourne Business Chamber Paul Ross said he would welcome a JD Wetherspoon pub.
“There are quite a few niche shops in town and it would be great to get something with oomph.
“We ran a campaign to get a Costa and Lidl is coming. It’s growing the brand of Bourne.”
Mr Ross said he didn’t think Bourne’s other pubs would be happy, but added: “There is certainly a market for Wetherspoon’s. We haven’t got much in the way of restaurants and it’s a low cost option that opens up another choice for people.”
Mr Ross said he hoped Jenny May would be able to relocate if the plans did go ahead.