BrewDog finally gets go ahead for Ipswich Waterfront bar

Brewdog site

Brewdog has been granted an alcohol licence. - Credit: Paul Geater

BrewDog has secured a licence to sell alcohol and revealed its plans to invest three-quarters of a million pounds into its first bar on Ipswich Waterfront. 

The business was granted a sale of alcohol licence by Ipswich Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee on Thursday. 

The application prompted concerns from residents living nearby over the impact of noise, littering, parking and hours of use up to 12.30am on weekends.

Felicity Tuck, solicitor on behalf of BrewDog, said the firm believed it had addressed concerns of residents at Thursday's meeting. 

“It’s a significant pub operator with around 70 in the UK. Ipswich has long been on their radar as a town they want to come into,” she said.

“There is a £750,000 fit-out, they expect to employ around 20 staff in part time and full time roles, and have a commitment to using local suppliers, and generally believe it will be an asset to the locality.”

The firm has set its sites on the former La Tour Cycle Cafe unit on the Waterfront, with a planning application for the unit’s fit-out lodged with the council.

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The bar says the plans were likely to go before planners next month.

The solicitor added: “We believe there is demand for a well-run premises in this location. It’s a boarded up unit covered in graffiti in an unlit area of the Waterfront. My client believes the application of that space would improve and enhance the area. It can be an attractive pub for Ipswich.”

The council’s committee was satisfied conditions were sound for it to go ahead after previous hearings were postponed. 

In a report to the committee, independent consultant Andrew Bamber said the combination of a well-managed night-time economy in Ipswich along with BrewDog being a reliable bar manager means residents near Albion Wharf would not be worse off if it opened. 

Brewdog and residents met in October, and ahead of the licensing meeting the bar agreed to reduce the hours of use by one hour.

It means that sales of alcohol will cease at 11pm Sunday-Thursday instead of the originally planned midnight, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays instead of 1am in the original proposals, with a dispersal period of half an hour.

Some residents in the nearby Winerack flats said that could not be achieved.

At Thursday's meeting, Dr Kate Garland on behalf of 14 residents, said: “There will be an increase in noise causing disturbance to residents, irrespective of the adjustments, irrespective of any additional cladding that might be in the interior.

Barbara Spraggans, another neighbour, added: “This area is already known as the jewel in Ipswich’s crown and to add another pub to the mix which is requested to open until the early hours is not conducive to happy residents.

"Surely the council do not want this to become the next late night drunken hotspot?”

Other concerns were around smoke from the proposed smoking area, bin emptying and delivery times, and ventilation pipes from the kitchens.

No live or recorded music is planned.

The firm also agreed to cease the smoking area for outdoor drinking from 10.30pm and make the duty manager’s phone number available to residents in the event of problems.

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