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Moot Brew Co aims to open in Upper Halling near Rochester


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Concerns about road safety on a country road have been raised as a microbrewery gears up to open in a village.

Moot Brew Co is opening a brewery and tap room in Upper Halling, near Rochester.

Toasting their new venture Calvin, Danielle, Patrick, Tom and Sam
Toasting their new venture Calvin, Danielle, Patrick, Tom and Sam

The business works within a converted barn at Court Farm in Pilgrims Road, which already hosts other businesses including a butchers and a farm shop.

Company director Patrick Smith made an application to Medway Council to sell alcohol for consumption both on and off site, between 10am and 6pm daily.

He hopes to have the business open in August.

The plans were discussed during a meeting of the authority's licensing hearing panel on Tuesday.

Mr Smith, who lives in the village, told councillors the clientele he is likely to attract will not be those looking to cause a nuisance to village life.

Patrick, Will, Ian, Tom and Calvin
Patrick, Will, Ian, Tom and Calvin

He said: "Our brewery is a destination for beer enthusiasts to learn about and experience different flavours and profiles of craft beer, not a place to simply consume alcohol.

"Our business has a very specific, niche, consumer type and only operates during sociable hours – between noon and 6pm – so we are confident the premises licence will not have any impact on the quality of living or pose any danger to the public or any nuisance."

However, Pilgrims Road resident Duncan King laid out his objections to the application, saying he has witnessed near misses on the road.

He added: "My problem is the traffic that's already there, not the extra traffic that these guys are going to cause."

Mr Smith said agricultural traffic is needed as Court Farm is a working farm. He also advocated for a lower speed limit on the road.

Head brewer Calvin Gear with the new brew
Head brewer Calvin Gear with the new brew

He added: "We understand the individual who objected is uniquely impacted by traffic movement because of where he lives in the village.

"The whole of Medway Valley, admittedly, is gradually getting busier because of frequent housing developments.

"It is inevitable that there will be a small impact on traffic, we understand that, but we hope you can see the scale of our business is small enough that we should not have any meaningful impact on traffic levels."

Councillors are due to return their decision on the application within five working days.

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