A CONTROVERSIAL licence application for a “nano brewery” to open and sell alcohol in a small rural village has been approved.

Rhys Jones of Green Lizard Brew Company had applied for a licence to sell alcohol from 12pm to 11pm and be allowed to conduct 24-hour online sales from The Barn, at Coedway business park in Coedway which is a village on the B4393 road between Llandrinio and Alberbury in Shropshire.

Mr Jones told a Powys County Council licensing hearing on July 13 that he had served in the army for four years and that his business partners were still in the army with one, Nicholas Davies, leaving soon to help run the brewery.

He believed that the firm would produce around 600 litres of beer a month and would also sell locally sourced cider and gin.

Mr Jones explained that a “tap room” at the barn would be used to allow potential customers to taste the beer. They would be served through a hatch.

He expected most of their sales to be online and to “army regiments”.

Several objections to the licence had been lodged by villagers who fear that the proposal would see the brewery become a pub in all but name.

Councillors were told that a public meeting had been held between residents, Mr Davies, and one of the other business partners, where they had been told that the brewery would close at 5.30pm.

They were unhappy to see the proposal was still for an 11pm closing time.

Councillors also heard that the business park is going through the process of being sold to a new owner. A field which might become a car park for the business units could allow a seating area for drinkers to be created.

But this would need a change of use planning application for the field approved by Powys planners.

Coedway is part of Bausley with Criggion Community Council.

Council clerk Steve Eccleshall said: “There is no safe area to seat people, so you are hinging this on a future planning application.

“Residents are concerned about noise at night.

“The pub up the road closes a bit earlier than 11pm and one of the things you have said is that you can get people on their way back from the pub.”

Mr Jones said that this had been what they would “have liked to do” and that if they tasted a beer he hoped they would buy some before going home.

Mr Jones said: “For the business to grow it doesn’t make sense to close at 5.30pm.

“We are thinking of putting seating in place – but it would be a maximum of 10 people.”

He added that “as the business grows” a planning application would be submitted.

Mr Eccleshall said: “The issues around this venture don’t give people confidence, it’s very vague at the moment.”

After hearing the evidence, the committee retired to deliberate,

Committee chairman, Cllr Karl Lewis said that the application would be approved but set out a number of conditions.

These conditions are:

• No seating areas inside or outside the premises.

• Operating days are Friday to Monday.

• Tasting times are 12pm to 9pm.

• All sales of alcohol to be concluded by 9.30pm – this does not include online sales that are 24/7.

• No alcohol except for tasting are to be consumed on site.

• Beer samples to be three to five fluid ounces.