Micro-brewery in 'tranquil and rural' Surrey Hills to get food trucks for walkers, cyclists and drinkers

-Credit: (Image: Waverley Borough Council)
-Credit: (Image: Waverley Borough Council)


One of the Surrey Hills “most tranquil and rural settings” will have a new outdoor drinking area complete with microbrewery, tents and cookouts after being granted a three-year change of use. The Tap Room in Frensham was given planning permission to turn the current microbrewery into a mixed-use site to allow it to sell drinks and food on the premises.

It was decided to grant short-term permission to Farnham Brewing Company due to its chequered history with neighbours with Waverley Borough Council’s planning committee insisting on strict conditions before anything long term was allowed. The former dairy site at Pierrepont Home Farm in Reeds Road, is on greenbelt land and its owners wanted to add an external dining area on the premises with a ‘stretch tent’ for use during the winter months.

There would also be mobile food truck parking. The site is on the King Alfred Way, popular with ramblers and cyclists and comprises a number of artisan businesses including cheese and fudge. One resident addressing the meeting, and representing the 28 homes near the brewery raised issues of repeated planning breaches and problems with rowdiness and late night parties.

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He said: “This application has completely galvanised our community to object, and two parish councils.” But added the conditions applied, no parities, events or music, meant they could “reluctantly move forward and accept the plans”.

He said: “Last summer their late-night parties disturbed the wildlife, caused traffic problems and public nuisance to the neighbours. Every party woke up my family, this is all on public record, you have all the documentation. After 20 years of living here we’ve got to dread weekends. These guys even had a party on a weeknight and woke up my children on a school night. They just do not care. Please monitor and enforce any future breaches.”

The owners said they have listened carefully to residents and to the council and modified the proposals accordingly saying there would be no more private events or late night operations or outdoor music. Councillor David Munro (Ind Western Commons) said the site had been developed over 30 years from a farm to diverse interests.

He told the meeting on June 5 the heavily modified plans were right in that they encouraged rural industries while protecting the amenities of the countryside. He added that enforcement of any breaches needed to be better than in the past, and with these conditions in place, he believed it would.

Councillor Julian Spence (LD Hindhead & Beacon Hill) said: “It’s probably one of the most tranquil and rural settings that we have. I’m very concerned about both the noise, parking, the amount of traffic that it's going to generate." Councillor Peter Clark (IND, Farnham Rowledge) added: “The plans encouraged the enjoyment of the countryside which is one of the reasons we fight so hard to protect it.”

The temporary permission, with conditions controlling use, was approved by 13 votes to one.

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