Disused Matlock toilet block could become nano brewery if councillors back plans

A former public toilet block at Artists Corner in Matlock could be converted into a ‘nano brewery’ under proposals submitted to Derbyshire Dales District Council.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 3:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 3:38 pm

The planning committee will meet on Tuesday, October 12, to consider the application (21/00871/FUL) from the Hollow Tree Brewing Co in Whatstandwell, whose owners are seeking permission to change the use of the building, which is still owned by the council.

Stephen McKnight, who currently runs the company with his wife from their spare room, has received the backing of planning officers, who are recommending the plans be approved.

A statement submitted with the application said: “The opportunity that the building at Artist’s Corner provides Hollow Tree Brewing is an incredible one.

The disused toilet block building.

“It would help the development of a young business with the site providing the exposure that the business requires.

“In allowing the building to be used as a nano brewery, it would give an attractive building a purpose, bringing it back into use whilst having minimal impact on the area.”

It adds: “We see ourselves as a part of the surrounding landscape, so want to blend in, not to stand out.

“Ultimately Artist’s Corner would help a small independent family-run business take the next step in achieving their dream.”

The hexagonal building, which sits alongside the River Derwent, a public car park and a children’s play area, served as a toilet block from 1987 until 2018, when it closed due to council cost-cutting.

No exterior works would be required other than signage. Former bathroom interiors would be stripped out to make space for brewing equipment capable of producing up to 108 gallons per batch.

Three residents have submitted comments in response to the application, fearing the new use would cause extra traffic and produce noise and odours.

Hollow Tree, which currently produces 13 gallons a time for sale online and at local markets, says it has operated from a private home for two years without causing any disturbance, and hopes this reassures residents who have worries about noise, odour and disruption.

To read council officers’ full report, go to https://bit.ly/3ozeEkT.

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