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Council approves Ramsbottom home brewery
9:22am Saturday 26th January 2013 in News
A HOME brewery has finally been given permission by council bosses after a planning hiccup threatened to shut it down.
Real ale fan Matt Holmes has been perfecting his beers in his converted double garage in Heapworth Avenue in Ramsbottom for more than 12 months.
But he received a surprise letter recently from planning officials telling him that his Ramsbottom Craft Brewery business was illegal without their approval.
The issue has now been resolved after members of the planning control committee at Bury Council retrospectively approved the plans.
Mr Holmes has travelled to several real ale festivals across the country in the past year promoting the fruits of his labour and admitted he panicked when the council got involved.
He said: “It came as a big surprise, I thought I had obtained all the necessary permits and licences.
“It was a concern that the council might tell me to stop brewing, even though I was doing no harm to anyone “The brewery has always been invisible to everyone on my street.”
Mr Holmes, who works full-time at an estate agency in Ashton-under-Lyne, produces one brewer’s barrel per week - some 288 pints - in his spare time.
He had already obtained a licence to brew from HM Revenue and Customs, relevant insurance and food safety certificates and a personal alcohol licence before being informed of the planning problem.
He said: “In the beginning, I never envisaged I would brew commercially. It really happened by accident - people just want to drink my beer.
“Given this was a unique application for the team at Bury Council that has never before been requested, I would like to applaud the planners for the understanding way in which the application was assesses.”
Conditions do however prevent customers from visiting the brewery, therefore all sales are done online or via telephone, and neighbours must not be inconvenienced.
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