'No one ever consulted me': Rejected microbrewery owner raises questions after application knocked back

Rashpinder Singh Mahal had his application for a taproom at his microbrewery rejected

Rashpinder Singh Mahal had his application for a taproom at his microbrewery rejected, and has since raised concerns about the process involved - Credit: Rashpinder Singh Mahal

A Harold Wood brewery owner has questioned the planning process in Havering after his application for a new taproom was refused.  

Rashpinder Singh Mahal, owner of The East Side Brewery in Harold Wood, submitted an application to add a space for the community to sit in and drink at his microbrewery

However, it was rejected due to “deficient” levels of detail, such as “no clear layout plan, design, materials, seating area and the general operational management of the proposed use”.

The decision notice said this could result in issues such as “an encroachment onto the communal area” which would "be to the detriment of the amenity and living conditions of neighbouring occupiers”. 

Rash said: “I was a bit surprised. It’s not a pub, it’s a brewery, and the taproom is just ancillary.” 

New microbrewery opens in Harold Wood

Rash opened The East End Brewery in May last year - Credit: Rashpinder Singh Mahal

While disappointed with the outcome, Rash said he is also concerned by the process involved because he was never contacted by the council asking for further information and no one came to visit the site. 

A spokesperson for Havering Council said issues can be "properly considered and assessed" without a visit.

“In the last eight weeks, no one ever consulted me or called me to say that they required any further information,” Rash added. 

“If we can go out and eat in a restaurant, why can’t they come and visit my brewery?” 

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He received the decision on his application via email at around 8pm on Friday, May 5, he said, but when he responded later that same evening, he got an out-of-office reply. 

Having paid over £462 for the submission, Rash said he is going to appeal, intends on contacting his local MP and councillors, and has been left unhappy with the experience. 

A spokesperson for Havering Council said: “In the majority of cases, it is considered that the issues can be properly considered and assessed without the need for a planning officer to visit the site. 

“Once a planning application is submitted, it doesn’t automatically follow that there will be negotiation on the application if issues are identified and therefore site visits are not routinely undertaken for all applications. 

“The applicant was contacted before the decision was issued to advise of the intention to refuse the application.”