Fate of Wolverhampton micro pub plan to be decided

Plans to open the West Midland's first micro pub in Wolverhampton will go before licensing chiefs after objections from residents.

There will be space for 30 drinkers in the new venue – called Hail to the Ale – which is set to open in an old furniture shop in Pendeford Avenue in Aldersley.

It will serve up local real ales as well as cider and wine. Although there are none in the West Midlands, there are currently 18 micro pubs across the country. They have been given their name because they are in small venues and run by a micro brewery.

The proposals were approved by planning chiefs in June but must now go before the council's licensing committee on August 14. Members will decide whether a licence can be granted.

Neighbours have complained that there would be an increase in noise and traffic outside the pub. A number have written to the local authority to voice their concerns about the plans.

One resident said: "I am concerned that the front of the pub will become a gathering place not only for smokers but will attract youths and may lead to anti-social behaviour generally associated with pubs."

Others complained that smokers outside the pub will be able to look into residents' homes. West Midlands Police and the council's licensing officers have called for more action to be taken to prevent disorder – including CCTV being installed and drinking being banned outside – which boss Angela Morton has agreed to.

At the meeting of the planning committee where the plans for the venue were approved, Councillor Jonathan Yardley, who represents Tettenhall Regis, said he was concerned drinkers would congregate on the street as there would be no beer garden.

However Gary Morton, who runs Morton Brewery with his wife Angela, said the pub would attract mainly middle-aged and elderly customers.

And he assured the committee that there would be no out-of-hours deliveries and noise would be kept to a minimum as there would be no music or televisions on site.

He added: "With more than 1,000 micro breweries across the country, getting products to market is becoming more of a challenge and this is an excellent way to do it."

The pub is designed to be a throwback to the pre-gastro pub days and will create a family-friendly atmosphere, according to Mr Morton.

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