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Wetherspoon drops Dereham pub plans

PUBLISHED: 18:08 08 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:46 07 July 2010

Emma Knights

Pub giant Wetherspoon has pulled out of plans to open an outlet at a Dereham hotel.

In March it was revealed that the high street pub chain, which is well known for its cheap drinks and bargain meals, was intending to buy and revamp the Phoenix Hotel in Church Street.

Pub giant Wetherspoon has pulled out of plans to open an outlet at a Dereham hotel.

In March it was revealed that the high street pub chain, which is well known for its cheap drinks and bargain meals, was intending to buy and revamp the Phoenix Hotel in Church Street.

But now Wetherspoon has pulled the plug on the deal because the company believes it would cost too much to develop the site.

Eddie Gershon, a spokesman for Wetherspoon, said: “The site was very suitable but having looked at everything we felt it would be too expensive to develop.

“Dereham is a town we are interested in, and Wetherspoon would like to have a pub in Dereham but it is a case of finding the right site. As far as we are concerned the Phoenix is a site we are no longer looking at.”

Mr Gershon said no other locations in Dereham are currently being considered by Wetherspoon.

Staff from the Phoenix Hotel were taken by surprise at the news when the EDP contacted the hotel to ask about the future of the venue.

Elizabeth Hotels bought the Phoenix Hotel in 1996 and put the property on the market towards the end of last year.

Andrew Watson, operations manager of Elizabeth Hotels, said the company was unable to comment at the moment.

The Phoenix was named after the mythical bird because the hotel was said to have risen from the ashes of the old King's Arms which was demolished in 1962 in the Market Place to make way for the Woolworths store.

Permission to build the Phoenix was given on the same day that demolition on the King's Arms started.

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