A new ‘pico brewery’ in Brewery Square has come under fire from residents over plans to sell bottled beer which they fear will add to problems from troublesome drunks who gather near the railway station.
Anthony Buckton of the Copper Street Brewery has applied for a licence for off-sales of premium craft ales, six days a week.
The shop plans to sell both bottled beer from the on-site brewery and a range of other craft ales. A small volume will also be sold to local outlets in casks.
According to the application to West Dorset’s licensing sub-committee, the area to the rear of the shop will contain a “very small brewery” operating no more than three days a week – a pico brewery is defined as one producing less than 500 barrels a year.
A petition from the residents of Copper Crescent says: “There are already nine licensed businesses in the local area, including an existing micro-brewery. There is no demand for another one right next door to the entrance of 30 residential apartments.
“We already experience on-going problems with drunks who congregate outside the railway station opposite the entrance to Copper Crescent, with attendant swearing, exposing themselves urinating and litter.
“It is on record that the police have been called on numerous occasions to remove them. The proposed business will provide them with a closer, additional source to purchase alcohol.”
They add that the business could also “potentially create noise and smells”.
However, in a submission Mr Buckton has reassured residents that the shop would not be a general off-licence.
“This is not my business. We will be providing craft and real ales to a discerning customer. With due respect, the yobs giving rise to this public nuisance will be drinking low-cost alcohol.
“Their objective is to get drunk quickly and cheaply. Typically they will be drinking low-cost alcohol such as canned lager, cider from plastic bottles and/or budget spirits.
“I will not be selling budget alcohol. I will be providing a unique selection of premium craft ales at a premium price [roughly £2.65 for a 5% craft ale].”
The sub-committee was due to consider the application as the Voice went to press.