A bid to enable live music and drinking at a Herefordshire farm has been approved despite objections from nearby villagers.
Ben Taylor-Davies of Townsend Farm, Brampton Abbotts near Ross-on-Wye applied for a licence for “community gatherings” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and holidays, offering guests beer and wine made on the farm.
But members of the public made 16 objections, 14 of which were deemed relevant, raising concerns over safety, traffic and lighting as well as noise.
One unnamed resident wrote: “The village were only made aware of this application by the single A4 notice. It is not for the enjoyment of the village community, yet they will face the disruption caused.”
“Glastonbury started life as a small venue on a local farm and look at it now,” another wrote.
Given these concerns, the case was passed to Herefordshire Council’s licensing subcommittee to determine.
Brampton Abbotts & Foy parish council vice-chairman David Teague told the committee that the proposal had provoked “strong concerns from all residents” who attended a recent parish meeting.
These too concerned noise, lighting and traffic disturbance to the “tranquil, rural parish in an area of outstanding natural beauty [AONB], which the council has a duty to protect”, Coun Teague said.
“Brampton Abbotts already has a recently refurbished village hall for community activities,” he added.
Mr Taylor-Davies responded that conditions on the licence had been agreed with environmental health officers, and stressed that the hours during which events would be hosted at the farm would be “not excessive, and at weekends”, and would indeed “add extra resources to the community”.
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“Currently we are unable to sell our beer from our brewery and wine from our vineyard to the public, though they keep asking,” he said, adding that the farm had been recently approached to host a showcase of the AONB’s food and drink producers.
“I am open to compromise and happy to restrict the music,” he added. “We are not looking to host rock concerts.”
Committee chair Coun Polly Andrews said the committee “fully recognise the concerns raised, but considers that the agreed additional conditions, the application will promote the licensing objectives”.
The public should direct any “evidence-based concerns” over licensed premises to the council’s licensing department, she added.