Rich;s Cider Farm at Watchfield near Highbridge

A cider farm in Watchfield near Highbridge will be able to play live music and hold events throughout the year after a new licence was approved.

Rich’s Cider Farm has been producing cider for nearly 70 years and the company also runs a Cider Farm restaurant, a recently-opened farm shop and organises various events throughout the year, including wassailing and wedding receptions.

Sedgemoor District Council has now granted the company a new licence to continue its business ventures, despite concerns raised by some neighbours.

Owner Jan Scott applied to consolidate the two existing licences for the premises into one new licence in order to allow alcohol to be sold for consumption on and off the premises, as well as both live and recorded music to be played.

She told a meeting of the council’s licensing panel that this would enable the business to continue trading at a viable level, providing services for local people, as well as those visiting from further afield.

One resident who lives nearby spoke on behalf of half a dozen other residents and raisied concerns about potential noise and antisocial behaviour. She said: “We are all very fearful and anxious for the future if Rich’s is granted a licence for outside alcohol. We want Rich’s to prosper, but they must exercise respect to their closest neighbours.”

After 30 minute’s deliberation, the panel voted to approve the Rich’s Cider Farm application, citing the lack of a formal objection from Police. Under the new licence, the business will be able to sell alcohol for consumption on or off the premises between 8am and 11pm between Sunday and Thursday each week, and between 8am and midnight on Friday and Saturday.

The same restrictions also apply to playing live or recorded music indoors, with a condition that noise must be monitored at least once every two hours after 9pm each night. The business will also be restricted to holding outdoor marquee events on only four days a year, and no recorded music must be played outdoors after 10.30pm.


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