Plans submitted for first micropub in either Hertfordshire or Bedfordshire

The proposed location for the Henlow micropub would be at a site used by Blockbuster in Hitchin Road

The proposed location for the Henlow micropub would be at a site used by Blockbuster in Hitchin Road until May 2013 - Credit: Archant

Plans to open the first micropub in either Hertfordshire or Bedfordshire have been submitted.

June and Stephen Topham have submitted plans to Central Bedfordshire Council to open The Old Transporter Ale House in Hitchin Road at Henlow Camp, at a 48sqm site used by Blockbusters video store until May last year.

The micropub would operate independently of major brewers, providing cask ales as their main product, alongside some bottled beers, lagers, wine, cider, ‘old style’ soft drinks, but no spirits.

A supporting document in the application written by Mrs Topham states: “The British pub as we know it is slowly but surely dying out. All over Great Britain pubs are closing their doors for the last time at an alarming rate. Sadly, most of the buildings that were public houses will never reopen as a pub again and a lot of them will perhaps be converted to a house or demolished altogether and housing or offices built in their place.

“It is our aim to be able to put something back into the community where we live and share this with our neighbours (business and residential) and provide a service for people living in the area. At present there are new houses being constructed (400) in Station Road, Lower Stondon. We would like to think that the micropub will be used by the residents that eventually move into the area.

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“We have heard that since Blockbusters closed down in May 2013, local businesses have lost some of their custom. We want to help them get that business back.

“To date there are now more than 30 micropubs scattered around the UK, each selling a variety of real ales. Micropubs are able to charge lower pint prices as they are not tied to any major breweries such as Green King or Charles Wells. The birth of the micropub is, in great part, thanks to the 2003 licencing act which permits the change of use from a shop to a public house, and does not allow your friendly regional brewer to challenge the granting of a new licence.”

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If plans are approved the micropub would be licenced to sell alcohol from 6.30pm-10.30pm between Tuesday to Thursday, but would remain closed on Mondays.

The micropub would be open between 2pm-11pm on Fridays, 9am-11pm on Saturdays and 9am-7pm on Sundays.

The business venture is also aiming to provide outside seating and a meeting place for clubs and associations.

A public consultation ends on February 20 with a decision on the application expected in March.

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