Alcohol licence approved despite ‘spurious allegations’

A brewery boss has slammed the “spurious allegations” used to try and block his bid for a new bar.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 11:42 am
Flying Gang Brewing in Ponteland.
Flying Gang Brewing in Ponteland.

Andrew Findlay, of Ponteland’s Flying Gang Brewing, has been given the green light to run his tap room from his base at Meadowfield Industrial Estate.

Despite running the new venture for about 10 weeks already on a trial basis “without any problems”, the businessman claimed he had faced unfair attempts from some neighbours to block his application.

“(One of the complaints) is just fallacious – absolute nonsense,” he told a Northumberland County Council licensing hearing held to rule on his bid for an alcohol licence.

“They will tell you they’ve had disturbance and noise (since we opened) and have had to call the police.

“The first weekend we opened they called the police and, I would say, gave us some of the best evidence of the goings-on.

“The police came at about 5pm, had a look around and were entirely happy with what was going on.”

His application had sought permission to sell alcohol from the site between 3pm and 9pm on Fridays and noon to 9pm Saturdays and Sundays, but added most nights stopped service at about 8pm, as the weather became colder.

No objections to the plans were submitted by Northumbria Police, although a series of additional conditions were agreed, including CCTV provision and a promise that any music would not be loud enough to be heard from nearby homes.

Prior to becoming a brewery, the site was a council depot thatwhich operated 24-hours a day.

At least 14 objections were submitted by neighbours and Ponteland Town Council, claiming drinkers at the new bar would lead to increased crime, noise and nuisance.

Town councillor Katrina Woodrow told the panel: “We don’t understand why they would put a pub in the middle of an industrial estate.

“It’s not easy for people to reach without a car and it just seems a very strange and unattractive place.

“But it’s also bothering the existing residents, who have been there for many years and never anticipated there would be a pub over their back fence, but suddenly they’ve been presented with it, out of the blue.”

Despite this however, following deliberations, the four-strong Licensing Sub Committee agreed to approve the licence application.