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CONVERSION BID: Site visit looms for home brewery

CONVERSION BID: Site visit looms for home brewery

123 Yarm High Street (2018), Image: Google Street View

Disagreement over a new balcony will see councillors visit a Yarm home which has plans for a home brewery. 

Stockton planning committee deferred making a decision on the Yarm High Street home at a meeting this week after concerns were aired by neighbours.

Applicant Paul Fox has lodged proposals to convert the ground floor of the former butcher and turn its rear outbuilding into residential annexe with a terrace.

But seven objections were aired ahead of Wednesday’s meeting, with some misgivings about noise, smells and a nearby balcony which was ordered to be pulled down.

Resident Alex Watson told the committee their home on Low Church Wynd looked onto the outbuilding, adding they lived in a relatively tranquil and peaceful space.

He said the outbuilding had been derelict for years and the grade II listed site was in need of restoration.

But he shared doubts about its future use, and wasn’t happy about the balcony plans.

Mr Watson said: “It will impose on our privacy allowing prolonged over-viewing of the rear of our property and our neighbours.

“There will be an increase in noise and light pollution.”

The homeowner added they had to remove their own first floor glass balcony after a failed appeal in 2019.

Planning officers had recommended the plans for approval ahead of the meeting.

Official Helen Boston told councillors the balcony had been a major concern when first proposed but it had been reduced in planned size – with a brick wall now lined up to the north.

Agents for the applicant responded to objections in a letter saying amendments had been made – and the plan was a wholly domestic one.

The letter added: “It is intended to be a small-scale hobby brewery producing small volumes for consumption by family and friends.

“Brewing would be occasional, undertaken every couple of months and would be of such a small scale that no flues, fans or kit of any size would be required.

“Brewing would be confined to a small number of receptacles in the same way many people brew in their own homes and any odours would be retained within the outbuilding.”

When it came to the balcony, the agent added the proposals had been “significantly reduced” with stair access removed.

A letter from Mr Fox added: “Firstly and foremost this proposal is for a modern family friendly home, not a commercial property.

“(The) intent.. is to restore the buildings that have long been neglected back to a good condition, preserved for the future, and modernised to give family access to the wonderful rear garden.

“There is no intent to have a commercial brewing operation with public access to the rear of the property.”

But some members shared worries about the balcony on the byre.

Cllr Sylvia Walmsley added: “Especially when one was refused (nearby) and the applicant was made to take it down.

“Why are we now allowing one? It doesn’t seem right.”

Cllr Lynn Hall agreed.

“It’s a concern, particularly when you’re talking about a grade II listed building,” she said.

However, Ms Boston told the panel the other balcony which was refused nearby had a “very different site context”.

A deferral of the decision was unanimously agreed.

Councillors will visit the home in the coming weeks for a closer look at the home before another vote later this year.


Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter

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