Q. When is a pub not a pub? A. When it is a micro-brewery.
16 March 2020 by Keeley Miller
FJG have been assisting Three Wise Monkeys, Colchester in connection with the acquisition of a site for a micro-brewery adjacent to their already successful tap house and gin bar at 60 High Street, Colchester. The deal was concluded pursuant to an agreement for lease conditional upon a number of factors including our client obtaining satisfactory planning permission for the site to be used as a micro-brewery.
The use of commercial premises in any location is authorised by the local authority depending upon their local plan and the mix of uses that they deem acceptable within their geographical area whilst also taking into account national level policy framework. Applicants for planning permission must consider the local plan and determine which use class is appropriate for their planned business operations.
There are 15 different use classes designated within the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended by The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) Order 2005) encompassing a range of commercial uses, but not all. For example a taxi office or a nightclub does not fall into any of the use classes and bespoke planning permission (sui generis) must be applied for to permit use of a commercial building for these types of occupiers.
Use class A4 permits premises to be used as drinking establishments such as public houses and wine bars. This user class is fairly limited; it does not include nightclubs and nor does it include micro-breweries. Permission to establish a micro-brewery in commercial premises has to be sought under use class B2 which encompasses general industry.
The micro-brewery is deemed by planning authorities to be an industrial process which does not fall within a business class which could be carried out in an industrial area without detriment to the amenity of the area by reason of noise or smell. Conditions may be attached to the grant of B2 planning permission including requirements to introduce control measures to deal with fumes, smells and odours and to require plant, equipment and machinery not to exceed certain rating levels of noise.
In the event that the micro-brewery will be open to the public there are likely to be limitations on the permitted opening hours. These may or may not match the permitted opening hours contained in the premises licence which is also required if you plan to open a tap room for consumption of the product on the premises.
If you are considering starting a micro-brewery business speak to our specialist planning advisor at Fisher Jones Greenwood and our commercial property team for general assistance on securing a suitable lease agreement to run operations. Contact us on 01206 700113 or email [email protected]. Cheers!