A PARBOLD couple are set to start their own microbrewery after winning a planning appeal.
Rachel and Jonny Birkett spoke of their delight after being informed planning inspector Geoffrey Hill had allowed their appeal to build a glass extension at the front of the Wayfarer on Alder Lane.
Despite being granted permission for change of use of part of the building to a microbrewery in 2010, the couple’s plans were put on hold after the council’s planning committee rejected plans for the extension – which will house the brewing vessels – on the grounds it would detract from the character of the building which is on the council’s Local List of buildings of historic interest.
But in his decision notice, Mr Hill found that it was “not entirely clear what architectural or historic features justified the inclusion on the Local List, and hence what features need to be safeguarded”.
Rachel said: “The decision to reject [permission for the extension] was ridiculous, so I would have been shocked if the appeal had gone the other way. “But when I got the email my heart was in my mouth.
“We’re going to start producing recipes at home, and are about to place an order on a five-barrel brewery.
“What we want to do is get the product right first.”
The couple hope their brewery, which will be called Problem Child, will be up and running by January.
They intend to produce several beers which will initially go on sale at the Wayfarer, and may then be shipped further afield.
Rachel said: “We’ve spoken to several local brewers who have been really helpful.
“It’s really lovely to get what I see as justice.
“It is frustrating we had to go to appeal though.
“We feel the brewing vessels will be an attractive addition in the glass extension, in city centres you often see them on display.
“We’re just looking forward to getting started now. The Wayfarer is a family business, I work for my dad, so this is something we get to call our own.”
A council spokesperson said: “We note the planning inspector’s decision, and while we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the decision of the inspector.”