Plan for a new brewery scuppered by residents

Upham Brewery Artist Impression''Picture: Vision Architects
Upham Brewery Artist Impression''Picture: Vision Architects

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A BREWERY has shelved plans to build a new site after it received strong opposition from residents.

Upham Brewery withdrew its planning application for a new brewery on the outskirts of Bishop’s Waltham earlier this week, much to the relief of neighbours.

A campaign group called the Friends and Neighbours of Bishop’s Waltham and Lower Upham action group had been set up to oppose the plan and its founder Libby Cleaver welcomed the news of the withdrawal.

The brewery’s plans were also criticised by Bishop’s Waltham Parish Council, which was concerned about the development in the South Downs National Park.

The application attracted scores of letters of objection, raising concerns over the smell and noise created from the site, as well as its location in the countryside and of it bringing industrial use to green land.

Despite this rejection and opposition, Upham Brewery confirmed that it will continue to review all potential site options in the locality as it looks to stay in the area so it can use the local water, which it said is vital to the beer’s taste.

David Butcher, director of Upham Brewery, said: ‘Our DNA is in Upham so we’re keen to try and keep close to our roots by finding a new site which is local.

‘We’ll be providing new jobs which will be good for the local economy and will be taking all measures possible to build a brewery that makes a contribution to the area.

‘Our growth means that we’ve outgrown our current site and are forced to find somewhere new.

‘We’ll look to work closely with the council and take into account residents’ views when identifying the most suitable site.’

Opposition to the plan started when two public consultations were held by the brewery in January.

It put on show its plans for the 1.156 ha brewery in Winchester Road, which would have created around 15 jobs and also seen an educational facility for nearby schools and tourists put in.

Upham’s existing brewery lease runs out at the end of 2015 and it started to look at new sites after its board feared that it could not keep up with demand at its current site at Stakes Farm, where it has been since it was founded in 2009.

A new brewery was opened on the site in 2012 but increasing demand forced the brewery to look for a new site.

It said production has increased by 200 per cent since May 2013 and it now supplies 450 stockists. The new site would have boosted output from 12,000 to 60,000 casks a year.