A brewing giant’s bid to sell alcohol at a north-east cafe has faced a backlash from local residents.
Brewdog applied to Aberdeenshire Council to sell booze at The Coffee Apothecary in Ellon and also extend its opening hours to 11pm.
The plans, which will be discussed by the central licensing board next week, have sparked unrest among some in the community.
The cafe, which is owned by Jonny and Ali Aspden, opened last month and now Brewdog hopes to sell its products at the site.
Though councillors voted to allow it to open, some had expressed concern at the potential for public nuisance if the premises were allowed to serve alcohol, calling the plans “unacceptable.”
And now eight people have come forward during the licensing application process to object to the plans.
Issues around anti-social behaviour, excessive noise late at night, drunk and disorderly conduct, parking and possible criminal damage are just some of the reasons for their objection.
In written objections submitted to the council, several said the town centre already had two major, busy licensed premises in the Buchan Hotel and the New Inn, and another would stretch police resources.
In a letter which has been published on the council’s website, Calum Fisher said: “We already have 22 licensed premises in Ellon – there is already an over-abundance of them.
“They’ve only just opened and they’re already turning into a pub.
“This is an absolute disgrace.
“Brewdog were only granted planning permission on the provision that it was a café.
“What sort of café needs to be open so late?”
He added: “It’s obvious what Brewdog are trying to do – they got a licence as a café but are intent on turning it into a pub.”
Others cited the potential to disturb the sleep of those living nearby, the effect on parking space in the area, and the risk of drink-driving.
The owners of the cafe have said that the idea is to create a relaxed rather than a raucous atmosphere.
“We wanted to try and create somewhere that we ourselves would like to go and sit and enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine, unlike a pub where people stand at the bar and feel the need to be drinking,” said Mrs Aspden.