It’s cheers for Barearts as inspector quashes notice

Kathryn and Trevor Cook celebrate at Bare Arts, Todmorden.
Kathryn and Trevor Cook celebrate at Bare Arts, Todmorden.

The owners of a brewery and beer shop are celebrating after a planning inspector quashed an enforcement notice, meaning they can remain open.

Last year, Calderdale Council served an enforcement notice on Barearts, Rochdale Road, Todmorden, following an alleged change of use to a drinking establishment and an entertainment venue without planning permission.

Trevor and Kathryn Cook, who own Barearts, launched an appeal and said their business would no longer be viable if the notice was enforced.

After visiting the premises, planning inspector Brian Rogers decided to quash the notice, meaning Barearts can continue as normal.

Lots of people contacted the Planning Inspectorate about the matter. Those in favour raised issues such as noise and car parking, while those against mentioned job creation and provision of a valued community facility.

In his decision, Mr Rogers said: “The premises are primarily set up for the off-sales of Barearts bottled beers; there are extensive displays of these all around the shop.

“There is no recognisable bar counter and, despite the presence of a few small tables and seats, I gained the impression of entering a shop rather than a pub.”

He added: “The stipulation displayed in the shop is that consumption of alcohol on the premises should be for tasting, with the intention of purchasing the bottled beers to take away. Whilst I am far from convinced that there is rigorous adherence to this stipulation, I am persuaded that the proportion of off-sales of alcohol far exceeds the proportion of on-sales.”

Barearts hosts events including spiritual meetings and live music performances.

Mr Rogers said: “The frequency of these events appears to vary but on the evidence before me, I would find it hard to conclude that they occur to an extent that would indicate a material change of use had taken place.”

Trevor and Kathryn said they were very pleased with the inspector’s decision.

“We were doing it right and the decision has proved it,” Kathryn said. “Thank you to everyone who has supported us.

“We like Todmorden and it’s great that we can carry on here.”