PLANS for a microbrewery next to Knutsford Heritage Centre have been rejected by Cheshire East Council.

Centre bosses said the planned microbrewery would pose an unacceptable risk to the town’s 'priceless' Millennium Tapestry and 1887 Royal May Day dress and crown.

Carl Ball from Cowyardtap Limited was seeking permission to change the use of a former carpet shop to a microbrewery and tap room.

Christopher Henretty, chairman of the centre's trustees, said in his objection letter: “We consider it is unacceptable to site a microbrewery in the centre of Knutsford’s Conservation area, and adjacent to Knutsford Heritage Centre, which has suffered flood damage during heavy rain in the past.

“Knutsford Heritage Centre is very concerned about the close proximity of the proposed microbrewery and Tap next to the Tapestry Gallery, which contains the renowned Knutsford Millennium Tapestry.

“The Tapestry Gallery is situated partly underneath and adjacent to the proposed microbrewery building, with only a single brick wall between it and a first-floor ceiling above.

“The Tapestry is priceless and irreplaceable if it suffered water or flood damage. Also in the Tapestry Gallery is a further display case containing the dress and crown of the first Knutsford Royal May Queen Mary Ellen Howarth of 1887.”

Cheshire East said insufficient information had been submitted with the application to assess the intensification of use and balance between the uses proposed, microbrewery and tap room and the impact on neighbouring properties and uses and the Conservation Area; the impact of the proposed development in terms of odour and noise on neighbouring properties, and turning and tracking areas for commercial vehicles in the interest of highway safety.

It said in the absence of sufficient information, it had not been possible to show the proposal would comply with Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy policies, Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan Policies and National Planning Policy.