LICENSING chiefs have granted permission for alcohol to be sold at Hereford’s Butter Market.

Herefordshire Council’s licensing committee granted the permission on Wednesday (December 5) for the sale and consumption of alcohol on and off the Maylord Street premises from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 5pm and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.

This permission is subject to stallholders abiding by terms and conditions and signing a register.

Speaking during the meeting, chairman Dave Greenow said he was very concerned with the lack of management of the premises in the past.

“Can I be assured that, as the licensing designated premises supervisor, that in future you will take hold of Facebook and Twitter to ensure the reputation of the Butter Market?

“This particular building is the jewel in Hereford’s crown as far as I’m concerned, and it needs to be run in a very honest and orderly manner.

“We need to be assured that it will be run in a professional manner.

“It does give me concern when you see Gwatkin Cider photographed giving away samples in pint pots. I wouldn’t mind a sample like that.”

Nick Semper, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said there was no evidence of any sale of alcohol taking place at the Butter Market.

“We have asked on several occasions for the licensing authority to provide evidence of what has been sold, when, by whom, to whom and at what price.”

He said that photographs on Facebook could not be used as evidence.

“When either no brewer or no distiller was available to take such a stand then no temporary event notice was applied for,” he said.

“Furthermore, when no temporary event notice was granted, we believe no sale of alcohol by retail took place.

“We have statements of truth from Gwatkins Cider and Hereford Beer House that they did not sell alcohol the days there was no temporary event notice in place but merely provided samples which they may do without a licence.”

Mr Semper also told the committee the application for granting a premises licence required no explanation.

“You will be aware that part of the state of the Buttermarket has sunk into in recent years and its viability and very existence were under threat,” he said.

“Darren Socket stepped up and stepped in using his commercial talents to save the Buttermarket.”

He said that Natasha Dunlop had taken over the role as business manager of the Butter Market in August and would use her training in licensing law to make sure it is run professionally.

Councillor Greenow said that, following questioning from his colleagues, the committee was reassured that the business will be managed in future in a more timely and better manner.

He said: “On that, we are going to grant the licence but what we require is to abide by all the standard conditions the council gives but what we also require before the licence is granted is a detailed contract or condition that all your pop up stand people abide by.

“It must be signed by every pop up stand holder who sells alcohol every time they come and a register must be kept so that any official can walk in there and say where is that condition, has it been signed , can we see it?”