Five Points’ ‘industrial use’ upgrade: Neighbours accuse Hackney Council of siding with craft brewery

Five Points brewery in Institute Place. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Five Points brewery in Institute Place. Picture: Emma Bartholomew - Credit: Emma Bartholomew

Neighbours have accused Hackney Council of siding with the borough’s biggest brewery rather than taking action to stop the “misery” they claim the firm inflicts on their lives.

A lorry making a delivery at Five Points brewery. Picture: John Denton

A lorry making a delivery at Five Points brewery. Picture: John Denton - Credit: John Denton

The council has advised Five Points to apply to change the permitted planning use of its HQ in Institute Place, Lower Clapton, from light industrial (B1) to general industrial (B2), because "it is likely the brewery has expanded". The move would mean that rather than taking enforcement action - and potentially dealing with the matter through the courts - council officers could instead work with bosses at the craft brewery to deal with neighbours' complaints about traffic in the narrow cobbled lane and noise through the planning process.

"This will permit us to test whether there is an unacceptable impact on residents and whether this can be overcome through applying planning conditions and controls, and allow us to strike an appropriate balance in protecting residents from noise and disturbance while facilitating continued growth of a local business," said a spokesperson.

But neighbours - who are fed up of the noise of beeping forklifts and council bin trucks, up to five lorry deliveries and collections daily and the yeasty smell - say industrial use is not appropriate in a residential neighbourhood. They think the council should have held a consultation as to whether industrial use is acceptable there before allowing Five Points to submit an application.

"We feel the brewery has outgrown the spot and we don't understand why the council says they are going to accommodate the brewery so it can carry on being in that spot," said John Denton, who lives next door in Academy Apartments.

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Brewery owner Ed Mason submitted the application to resolve the situation in a "constructive and positive way", he said, adding: "In two previous planning applications in 2015 and 2017 the council agreed we are a suitable use for the premises and gave approval. We continue to operate as we always have done over the past six years - as a responsible employer with a commitment to our staff and the community. We are proud of our track record as a London living wage employer, our apprenticeship programme, support for local charities and relaunch of The Pembury Tavern."

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