Brewery near Crowborough has second bid for taprooom refused

A brewery’s bid to open a taproom at its rural premises outside Crowborough has been refused for a second time.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 12:12 pm

Last month (Tuesday, May 25), a Wealden District Council licensing panel met to consider an application from the Good Things Brewing Company to sell alcohol at its premises at Rendlye Farm, near Boarshead and Eridge.

The application had been the second to come forward from the business, with a previous bid refused in August due to concerns around its impact on neighbours, including the Bowles Rocks children’s outdoor activity centre.

While similar objections had been raised against the second application, the applicant argued that the taproom was “critical to the future of the business” and could be run without disturbance.

Councillors felt differently, however, concluding that the site was “unacceptable” for the sale of alcohol. 

In a decision notice published this week, a spokesman for the panel said: “In considering the application, the members had to find a balance between the commercial ambitions of the applicant, and the wellbeing of local people and other businesses.

“They reminded themselves that central and local government are encouraged to help businesses in the current covid crisis, but that such help cannot come at the expense of the licensing objectives which remain paramount.

“They reminded themselves that in determining the application they did so with a view to promoting the licensing objectives in the overall interests of the local community.

“They were satisfied, on balance, that the immediate area around the brewery was significantly residential, and that Sandhill Lane, which serviced the area, was susceptible to traffic issues and parking sensitivities. Members also had regard to the proximity of the Bowles Trust site. 

“Members took the view that a drinking establishment in this location was unacceptable.”

The spokesman goes on to say the panel felt the brewery’s plans to limit car use “seemed impractical and untested” and that the application had failed to address the impact of delivery and takeaway services on the local area.

The panel also had particular concerns around the potential impact of drinkers on the wellbeing of children staying at Bowles Rock. 

It concluded that no conditions would be sufficient to overcome its concerns and refused the application.

The business has the right to appeal the panel’s decision through the courts.