Plug pulled on plan for Forfar ‘superpub’

The Queen's Hotel - not being considered as an alternative to 5-7 The Cross.
The Queen's Hotel - not being considered as an alternative to 5-7 The Cross.

Plans to create a ‘superpub’ in Forfar have fallen through after JD Wetherspoon withdrew its offer on former council offices in the town.

The hospitality company had been poised to sign on the dotted line after councillors agreed to sell the landmark building at 5-7 The Cross for £350,000.

Despite rumours currently circulating, the company has also said it has no current interest in buying The Queen’s Hotel nearby, which was placed on the market recently with an asking price of £600,000.

Although both parties are remaining tight-lipped, it is understood to be due to “a commercial decision” by JD Wetherspoon.

A company spokesman said: “We have reviewed the opportunities in the town but have agreed not to progress with any for the time being, however this may change as towns and sites are under constant review.”

The council came under fire for agreeing to the sale at a private meeting last August. An alternative offer of £450,000 from businessman Ken Parke then prompted the local authority to place the building on the open market although the council said no firm bids were received. At another private meeting in March, Wetherspoon’s revised bid of £350,000 was accepted.

A council spokeswoman this week said: “Angus Council can confirm that they are no longer in negotiations with JD Wetherspoon for the purchase of 5-7 The Cross. Future use of the property will be reviewed as part of the council’s estate management strategy.”

The news was welcomed by Forfar councillor Glennis Middleton, who opposed the sale from the beginning.

She said: “I understand that Wetherspoon have withdrawn their offer on the basis of a commercial decision. I’m concerned for the future of The Cross, as most people will be aware that I was not in favour of the sale. I can do nothing at the moment other than await a further report to councillors with regard to what will happen in the future.

‘‘When will this council be able to build another stone-built building? We should treasure the ones we have.”