Errant Brewery is to open in Newcastle despite National Rail fears that drinkers would be “putting themselves in danger”.
The brewery will open under a railway arch at the city’s Forth Goods Yard, inviting drinkers to “high quality” tasting sessions on Saturdays. The tasting sessions led to National Rail issuing an objection to the brewery’s planning permission on the grounds that drinkers would be put in danger due to the brewery’s close proximity to the railway yard.
On Tuesday, Newcastle City Council’s sub-licencing committee ruled that the brewer’s plans could proceed. Errant Brewery founder, Martin Stockley, told the civic centre hearing that the taproom tastings would not overtake the brewery as the site’s main purpose, adding that it would only be open for a few days per month.
National Rail failed to send a representative to the hearing, despite arguing that “any member of the public who were to sit externally drinking alcohol would be putting themselves in danger”. Following National Rail’s concerns which also said drinkers leaving the taproom via the road outside would be put in danger, the brewery has abandoned plans for an outdoor seating area.
Stockley said: “We are not attempting to be a large-scale bar in the centre of town. It is for very small events, sampling high-quality alcohol created on the premises.
“National Rail raised a concern about us initially requesting an outside seating area for the brewery. Following their response, we have requested to have that removed which we feel is completely understandable. We have tried to communicate with Network Rail and we have not had any response back.”
Committee chair councillor Brian Hunter, said he was satisfied that National Rail’s concerns had been addressed by the brewer, which agreed to a series of conditions to limit the taproom’s operation, including the installation of a CCTV system and a limit on the number of drinkers allowed in the venue at any one time.