Fife brewery granted permission to open events venue

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A new events venue has been given the green light after initially being refused.

Ovenstone 109, in Pittenweem, had applied for an application to create an events space in its microbrewery, to use as a function venue for up to 150 people.

It currently offers tours, on and off-licence sales and can hold events for up to 50 people.

The site was originally an engineering works, which created the system that recovered rocket fuel from space shuttle rockets and carried out engineering works in the Cornish sea salt factory.

After business slowed, the company tried to sell up, but had no viable buyers. The owners then started a brewery to sustain the business.

With the encouragement of locals, Overstone 109 wanted to create an events venue within the building.

But the application was refused by Fife Council becasuse of road safety concerns, and the level of noise and odour such an establishment might create.

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However, at a planning review on Monday, councillors overturned the rejection.

At the committee, Councillor Mino Manekshaw said: “We have a good idea of how distantneighbouring properties are – I would say they were a reasonable distance away.

“It’s a reasonable position to create a venue. We don’t want this to turn into a derelict building, we want to have it returned to use.”

Council officers had recommended that a noise report be submitted with the appeal, which the owners declined to do.

Cllr Graham Ritchie said: “Peace and quiet is a precious thing. It has high value and it’s why people want to live in the country. Potential disruption must be taken seriously.”

Councillor David Barrat, committee convener, added: “I am sympathetic to this application, but in light of the council’s environmental officers asking for a report, I don’t have the confidence to say there wouldn’t be a problem. Without it, it’s hard to make a conclusion.”

Cllr Alice McGarry suggested a condition be placed on the application that before any venues take place, suitable noise mitigation occur to make sure the venue could contain within reasonable noise levels.

Councillors agreed, and also asked that one of the roads be made an entrance only, to mitigatea blind spot on exiting the venue.

Nick Flemming, owner of Ovenstone, said: “For many years our premises provided an important service to the local farming community when it was a tractor showroom and service department.

“In recent years the site had dwindled in its importance and in its contribution to the area.

“Our brewery makes good use of the space but we had to add a few extra strings to our bow to be able to maintain our operation and give the building a new lease of life as a valuable part of the East Neuk.

“By allowing event hosting we will be able to offer a variety of different functions that would otherwise have gone to other local establishments which are no longer around.

“We are therefore delighted that our planning application has been approved and this will allow us to attract more custom to the area.

“Hopefully we will now be able to support all the other great East Neuk businesses, locals and visitors that are looking for a place to have a bit of a gathering.”