A row is set to erupt next week over a temporary beer garden at Keswick’s biggest pub.
The staff car park at the side of Wetherspoon’s Chief Justice of the Common Pleas has been used as a beer garden since the pub giant gained permission from Allerdale Borough Council under COVID-19 powers this summer.
However, the emergency planning consent runs out next Wednesday — and a Wetherspoon spokesman told the Keswick Reminder that it was “likely to apply for an extension to our temporary consent”.
Those comments will alert town councillors who were already preparing to oppose any future plans to operate the open-air facility at its premises in Bank Street into October and beyond.
The town council had objected to Wetherspoon’s planning application for a permanent beer garden on the same site in May 2018, a stance backed by the Lake District National Park Authority.
Last year, the company lost its appeal at a public inquiry which agreed there would be too much noise and disturbance for local residents.
Now Keswick councillors are on alert after the initial temporary arrangement went through without anyone from the town council or local residents being aware of it.
“We have got to keep our eyes out for that planning permission and push hard against it,” said councillor Allan Daniels at last week’s town council meeting.
“I hope we will be successful,” added Mr Daniels, who is also a member of Allerdale Borough Council.
The temporary beer garden, which has to close by 8pm every evening, has proved popular with Wetherspoon’s customers, especially on dry, sunny days.
The early closing has not stopped complaints about noise outside the pub, largely from people queuing to get in during evenings and breaching social distancing rules. It led Wetherspoon’s to promise a review of its Keswick pub.