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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Plans for new bar in Carlisle city centre

A new bar could bring a taste of Cumbria’s microbreweries to Carlisle as plans to showcase craft beers are poised for approval.

Penrith businessman Nigel Tarn wants to bring his Moo Bar concept – already up and running in King Street, Penrith – to the city by opening a new outlet in the former HFC Bank, next to Le Gall, in Devonshire Street.

The craft beer specialist opened in a former cattle house – hence the name Moo Bar – in King Street, Penrith, in late 2012.

It showcases draught real ales from Cumbrian microbreweries – six are on hand pump at any one time – alongside more than 100 bottled beers from all over the world.

Mr Tarn has applied for planning permission and listed building consent to convert the former HFC Bank, next to Le Gall, and it will be considered on Friday by Carlisle City Council’s Development Control Committee. It has been recommended for approval subject to conditions.

A number of local breweries, as well as the Solway branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), support the plan.

Alan Welsh, the CAMRA branch chairman, added: “Although Devonshire Street may now have a few bars, the north of the city centre has very few pubs compared with other similar sized cities, thus this is a welcome addition.

“The Solway branch of CAMRA knows Nigel Tarn quite well and we have been impressed with the way he runs the Moo Bar in Penrith.

“It is a very well-managed establishment with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. We certainly don’t know of any anti-social behaviour resulting from these premises and we have members who drink there regularly.”

According to a report, which has been presented to councillors, seven letters of objection and two letters of support have been received by the planning department. Objections included: more bars would prohibit the conversion of the first floors of neighbouring buildings to residential use, a shift from Botchergate, associated crime, an impact on tourism, pedestrian safety, anti-social behaviour, noise and disturbance.

Malcolm Ward, from nearby Friar’s Court, wrote to the council to oppose the plan and in his letter he said that Devonshire Street was one of the city’s “prestige streets”.

He added: “Every step should be taken to maintain and enhance Devonshire Street, particularly as the upper floors in each building become ripe for movement into residential [use].”

He said he didn’t believe any more bars should be allowed in Devonshire Street but should be directed to Botchergate where “there is a range of empty premises”.

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