A BREWERY’S plan to open a new taproom can finally go ahead after it was handed an alcohol licence by the council.

Malvern Hills District Council gave the green light for Malvern Hills Brewery, based in West Malvern Road, to sell alcohol between 8am and 10pm every day after concerns were raised by several neighbours.

The brewery’s Frances Casey said the request for permission to sell alcohol 14 hours-a-day in its new taproom was so it could sell its beer online.

Frances Casey from Malvern Hills Brewery said: “This isn’t just good news for the brewery, but for all our customers, supporters and the local community, who will soon have the taproom on their doorstep to enjoy.

"We now need to focus on all the hard work that is necessary before we can open, which includes sound-proofing and the provision of full disabled access."

Mark Haslam, a CAMRA activist and near-neighbour, who supported the application said: “Finally, common sense has prevailed.

"The few remaining arguments against this proposal included a claim that a bar in a small, two-room Victorian terraced house would be akin to a Wetherspoons – that was simply absurd.

"The whole protracted episode has been little more than a storm in a beer glass. I wish the brewery well with their plans.”

The proposed opening times for the taproom revealed in last year’s planning application would be 6pm to 10pm on Thursday and Friday and 12pm to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday. Alcohol could not be sold from the building outside of those times.

Nine objections were raised against the brewery’s bid for an alcohol licence with many saying parking was already dangerous and attracting more people to West Malvern Road would only make it even worse.

Nick Semper, from the Licensing Guys, representing the brewery, said concerns raised by neighbours - such as parking, noise and smell - were all irrelevant to the application and were sorted when the plan went before the council’s planning committee.

Mr Semper said it was wrong for neighbours to claim they were “horrified” by the licensing hours and had “fundamentally misunderstood” the application.

Mr Semper said Worcestershire County Council’s highways department, West Mercia Police and Environmental Health had raised no objections to the plan which showed the prevention of crime, maintaining public safety and the prevention of public nuisance, all of which are licensing objectives, were not issues.

Neighbours Andy Wood and Mark Frost both spoke to the council’s licensing committee at the meeting on Tuesday (January 21).

Mr Wood reiterated his fear the brewery’s taproom would become a “mini-Wetherspoons” at the meeting and also said allowing longer licensing hours would also mean it would become an off-licence selling beer all week.

Mr Frost said somebody was going to get “badly hurt” in a when leaving the taproom by speeding traffic on West Malvern Road.