The Countryside Regeneration Trust (CRT) has submitted a planning application for the expansion of Pierrepont Farm’s micro-brewery in the Frensham countryside.
The proposal aims to transform the existing micro-brewery into a mixed-use space, allowing the sale of food and drinks, as well as the siting of a storage container and a ‘stretch tent’ canopy at the rural site nestled in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Green Belt.
Pierrepont Farm’s collection of Grade II-listed farm buildings have undergone extensive renovations in the past decade, attracting artisan businesses ranging from cheese to furniture makers.
A micro-brewery was initially granted planning permission to operate out of the farm’s old milking parlour in 2014 and later in its blacksmith’s workshop in 2016.
This was first run by husband-and-wife duo Miles and Emily as the Frensham Brewery, before Joe Wood and CraftBrews took over in 2018.
Joe’s lease was terminated by the CRT last year, however, with Farnham Brewing Co taking his place at Pierrepont.
Food has been provided at the brewery by external caterers, as well as the occasional barbecue, since 2016. But the CRT now wants to deliver “a wider offer of food and drink for consumption on the site”.
This will be prepared and delivered via a food truck owned by Farnham Brewing Co, parked by the side of the brewery. This, it hopes, will establish Pierrepont Farm “as a destination in its own right”.
The CRT states its application will preserve the farm’s heritage character, and its plans emphasise the sustainable use of existing buildings aligning with national and local planning policies.
The ‘stretch tent’ will provide outdoor seating during winter, while extra car parking spaces are proposed “commensurate with the levels of use currently experienced at the site”. Bicycle parking facilities will be increased from eight to 20 for the use of cyclists using the King Alfred’s Way.
The CRT acknowledges the storage container, proposed to the rear of the brewery building to provide a cold store, would usually be considered “inappropriate development” in the Green Belt.
But it argues the previous brewery tenant was given permission for two temporary buildings in the same location, and the proposed structure would be obscured from the wider farmyard site.
It is also proposed the brewery will open for coffee and cakes in the morning.
Overall, the proposed opening hours are 8am to 11pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 12pm on Saturdays and 8am to 10pm on Sundays.
But Waverley Borough Council’s licensing committee imposed a condition in May that no licensed activities are to take place at the brewery after 9pm daily, except in connection with “pre-booked and bona fide private functions or events to which the general public is not admitted”.