Five Points brewery’s expansion plan leaves neighbours in Lower Clapton bitter
- Credit: Emma Bartholomew
Neighbours of a craft brewery that wants to expand its Lower Clapton HQ have told bosses: “We think you’ve had enough.”
Tensions have come to a head under the Hackney Downs arches in Institute Place, with those in nearby flats saying the “noisy and smelly” business at the end of a narrow cobbled lane is already a squeeze.
Five Points in Institute Place, Lower Clapton, wants to install four massive steel storage tanks alongside the three fermentation tanks put there two years ago.
People living in Academy Apartments next door and Marcon Place opposite are fed up of the noise of beeping council bin trucks and forklifts, as well as what they say is up to five lorry deliveries and collections each day. Five Points, which takes its name from the busy road junction nearby, says it’s more like two.
Some 28 letters opposing owner Ed Mason’s planning application have been received from the two blocks.
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But the bid has been recommended for approval by council planning officers and will be decided tonight at Hackney Council’s planning sub-committee.
John Denton, who has lived in Academy Apartments for 20 years, believes Five Points has “outgrown the space”, and questioned whether it has exceeded the permitted “light industrial” planning use.
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“Ed is saying putting in four more tanks is not going to double capacity, or cause more traffic and impact, but why wouldn’t it?” he said. “It’s dangerous with the trucks coming up and reversing and it’s doing damage to the road. They are massive trucks and they literally just squeeze in. Our worry is if Ed gets permission for this, what happens next? He is being given carte blanche to build a bigger empire in the wrong space and the wrong place. We want to support the business, but we think they are going too far.”
Five Points replaced a black cab repair garage in the arches five years ago, and initially did all its brewing inside. Mr Mason told the Gazette the tanks would allow the company to “continue to grow and employ local people”
He said: “They will allow us to add new types of beers, and will also allow us to bring the lager beers back in house to Hackney.
“We currently have to outsource lager beers, which require a longer storage and conditioning time, with a brewery in Belgium.
“We are a local company that takes our community and social responsibilities very seriously.”