Neighbours complain about Darwen brewery’s acrid odours

13 03 2012

AN award-winning micro-brewery looks set to continue production in Darwen despite a neighbour’s complaints over ‘acrid’ odours. Hopstar Brewery set up in a new industrial unit at Rinus Business Park, in Grimshaw Street, Darwen, in July 2010. A year later Owen Taylor, who runs Tower Signs in a neighbouring unit, complained of headaches and nausea as a result of odours produced during brewing. Subsequently, Hopstar managing director, Natalie Tyson, said work had been carried out to prevent odours from passing into other units. And in an attempt to satisfy her neighbour, she has sent a retrospective plans to Blackburn with Darwen Council, requesting a change of use to a micro-brewery. The application, which will be discussed by the borough’s Planning and Highways Committee next week, includes a letter of objection from Mr Taylor. It says: “At certain stages of the brewing process, odours are produced. “I would describe this odour as a strong, malty, acrid smell.” Mr Taylor said the odours got into neighbouring premises through cavities in exterior walls. He said: “The odours passing into adjacent properties cause negative effects to the health of staff members exposed to the odours for a long period of time. “I personally suffer headaches and nausea as a result of this. “The odours can cause damage to stock such as garments and any paper-based materials, which readily absorb smells.” According to Mr Taylor, the odours often find their way into customers’ cars, which are stored overnight at his premises. Hopstar was started by Barry Tyson in the garage of his home in Pope Lane in 2004. Its ales have won a number of industry awards. Miss Tyson said: “When we signed the lease we were under the impression that we had permission for a micro-brewery, so we started out. “We have been told that we probably don’t need to submit these plans, but we wanted to keep our neighbours happy. “We are on an industrial estate and we have done everything we can. “We have sealed up all the gaps and cavity and installed a special condenser that turns steam into water, so hopefully the application will go through.” The Planning and Highways Committee will meet at Blackburn Town Hall, at 6.30pm on Thursday (15).

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