Chorley gin distillery gets a second shot after winning permission from councillors

Councillors decided not to call time on the popular Cuckoo's Gin distillery in Chorley.
Councillors decided not to call time on the popular Cuckoo's Gin distillery in Chorley.
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A popular gin distillery in Chorley has been told it can continue operating.

Cuckoo Gin has been based at Holmes Farm, in the Brindle area of the borough, for over a year.

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Chorley Council’s development control committee has granted retrospective planning permission after hearing of the “very special circumstances” of the application.

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The authority had previously ordered a bar on the site be closed down after refusing permission for that part of the development.

Members who had gathered to decide the future of the distillery itself were told that the farm business generated a profit of just £8,000 last year – which was not enough to support even a single wage.

The farm owner claimed that the business was under threat because of the risk to financial support for agriculture after the UK leaves the European Union. Should there be a reduction in the level of funding farms receive under any UK-administered replacement scheme, the gates of Holmes Farm would close for good, councillors heard.

The development includes a boiler and fuel store. It was given the green light – even though it is located in the middle of green belt.

Council officers advised that the plan for the farm to diversify would lead to additional employment in the area and would not create a noise nuisance because of its location close to the M61 motorway.

Papers presented to the meeting also concluded that it was not possible for the business to be built within existing units and also that the new buildings were in-keeping with the character of the area.

One objection was received which outlined concerns about planned private tours and events at the distillery.

Planning officers decided that such events would be “so small in scale and limited in frequency” that they would not affect neighbouring properties. The previous proposal for a bar on the site was dropped.