The application, by Graham Trott, trading as Triple fff Brewery at Old Magpie Works, Station Approach, Four Marks, was determined on August 4 by East Hampshire District Council’s (EHDC) licensing sub-committee, under the Licensing Act 2003.
While the premises is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 10pm on Sundays, the licence was said to reflect the time when the brewery is open to the public for tours and tastings.
Prior to the meeting there had been some objections citing concerns over public nuisance and safety, in particular with regard to vehicle access to the site, while others welcomed the application for a premises licence as providing an opportunity in the village to have a drink and to meet other residents.
Representing Mr Trott at the hearing, Jon Payne, of Licensing Lawyers, emphasised that the application had the full support of Four Marks Parish Council and that Mr Trott’s 20 years of experience of running the brewery meant it was “recognised as a valuable asset to the community”.
While the sub-committee raised concerns over the premises becoming a pub, Mr Payne stressed it would not be primarily operated as a public house but as a retail outlet. Part of the business would offer tasting sessions.
On the question of the premises being used for social gatherings, Mr Payne stressed that the retail outlet at the Triple fff brewery was mainly given over to retail space and did not have the appearance or the facilities offered, in terms of tables and chairs, to facilitate leisurely drinking, which was, by contrast, the primary function of a pub.
Furthermore, the opening hours for selling alcohol were not compatible with those required by a pub. He also pointed out that in order to function as a pub Mr Trott would have to apply for planning permission.
On the question of public safety, the main concern was the use of the road way access to the site, but Mr Payne pointed out that the only precedence Mr Trott had was safety on the premises, the access road was not his property to maintain. Nevertheless, he had already taken precautionary measures and had erected orange safety mesh fencing along the double yellow lines that separated the traffic on the road and the pedestrians.
There was also a 10mph speed limit along that stretch of the road, reinforced by speed ramps to slow the traffic down.
In the event, the sub-committee decided to grant the licence application on condition that staff received training regarding precautions to prevent the sale of alcohol to people under the age of 18 and to those showing signs of intoxication, with six monthly refresher courses a minimum requirement. Training records will need to be kept and made available for inspection by Hampshire Constabulary and any responsible authority on request.
A written refusals book will log all refusals to sell alcohol, information that will be kept on file for 12 months. And CCTV is to be installed and maintained, with recordings to be kept for no less than 28 days.