Lifeline offered to closed gin bar at Brindle Distillery

Mark Long at work- Brindle Distillery is a finalist in the BIBAs as Family Business of the YearMark Long at work- Brindle Distillery is a finalist in the BIBAs as Family Business of the Year
Mark Long at work- Brindle Distillery is a finalist in the BIBAs as Family Business of the Year
A popular gin bar in Brindle which had to close after its future came under threat could have a second chance.

To the dismay of fans, Brindle Distillery, creators of Cuckoo Gin, was forced to close its Cuckoo’s Nest bar after a retrospective planning application was rejected.

Chorley Council had refused to grant owners permission for either the gin distillery or bar at Holmes Farm in Sandy Lane.

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It has been up and running since June 2017, headed up by Mark Long.

But now officers at the authority are in touch with the distillery, a homegrown success story, to adjust the proposal in order to prepare a new application.

Coun Paul Walmsley, who is responsible for planning at Chorley Council, said the authority was “not in the business of closing down popular and successful businesses” but warned that it was important for businesses to seek planning permission before building on green belt land.

He said: “We do understand the popularity of the distillery and bar, but there are many factors to consider.

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“The building was constructed without planning permission in an area of open land in the green belt and an application was only submitted to the council retrospectively once the unauthorised building had been identified.

“An applicant has to demonstrate very special circumstances to overcome the harm to the green belt and none of the reasons provided amounted to what could be considered ‘very special’. Lancashire County Council also objected to the proposal on highways safety grounds.

“As a council we are not in the business of closing down popular and successful businesses so we’ve already been in discussions with the applicant’s agent about what could be done to modify the proposal and submit a new application and what additional evidence they need to provide in support of their proposal to address the reasons why the application was refused.

“It serves as an important reminder that if anyone is thinking of doing any work that they should check whether planning permission is required and we will always be happy to advise throughout that process.”

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Cuckoo Gin has proven popular since its inception a year ago and Mr Long has even taken on four new staff this year.

He said: “We working with the planners to try and resolve outstanding issues. Looking to resubmit in the coming weeks with an amended application.”

Planners had rejected the application for the distillery and The Cuckoo’s Nest bar on the grounds that it is “harmful” to the greenbelt.

Planning documents say the bar might also lead to noise and disturbance for neighbours.

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The impact of an increase in traffic is also registered as unwelcome.

After planning permission had been blocked owners at Cuckoo Gin issued a statement which said: “Regrettably due to circumstances beyond our control, the Cuckoo’s Nest is closed.

“Thanks to everyone who has supported us.”

Fans of Cuckoo Gin and The Cuckoo Nest took to Facebook to express their support of the distillery.

Kathryn Young said: “This business is a great idea. It is sourcing the ingredients for the gin from the farm and other local businesses like Samlesbury honey.”

John Turner said: “This region needs entrepreneurs like you to establish a new and vibrant business within in an area that cries out for local employment."