Lancaster Brewery's distillery plans on hold after admin error means council blocks plans

Plans for Lancaster Brewery to build a gin and vodka distillery on its site have been turned down after an administrative error.

Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 3:45 pm
The Lancaster Brewery team.

The brewery, based at Lancaster Leisure Park in Wyresdale Road, has been refused permission to build a front and side extension, as well as 124 extra car parking spaces.

We revealed last August how the brewery planned to expand to create a new gin and vodka distillery on the site.

They want to expand the existing building, with a new function room at the front providing an “upmarket” space for weddings and conferences.

Plans also include a new extension to the side of the building with a separate entrance to its current, more informal, Brewhouse and Tap venue.

A proposed new glass-fronted Lancaster Distillery area, which would make vodka and gin, would be housed in a single storey extension at the front of the existing building.

Also in the plans are a new venue space, which could then be opened out into one large space with the existing Brewhouse and Tap and a long connecting bar, which could accommodate 300 seated and 600 standing, double the current capacity.

However, members of Lancaster City Council's planning committee rejected the plans, saying the proposal seeks to substantially increase the function room floorspace without adequately showing the need, or proposing suitable measures, to accommodate the travel needs for the additional capacity.

They also said the application was not supported by any adequate measures to encourage more sustainable forms of travel, and that the proposed layout and location of cycle storage provision and parking spaces would lead to a conflict between pedestrians and delivery vehicles.

However, Phil Simpson, director of C2 Investments, the parent company of Lancaster Brewery, said the application appeared on last week's planning agenda due to an administrative error.

And he said it is hoped the proposals will be back on the table in the next couple of months.

"The application was put through early," he said. "It has not gone through as it should have done in the correct timescale.

"But while we remain keen to do this, in the current situation there's no panic to get it done so there's been no harm done.

"This is certainly not the end of the story - as far as we are concerned we are moving forward and we hope and expect to get planning approved in the near future.

"We continue to progress and hopefully in the next few months we can get the building work started."

Lancaster Brewery was set up in 2005 in an industrial unit in Caton Road by Matt Jackson and Phil Simpson.

It is now one of the largest brewers in the north west and sells its products throughout the UK, China and Eastern Europe.

It employs around 25 people locally, and the new developments would mean an additional 12-15 members of staff.