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Back of the net! First micropub in West Malling to open in a month

Thursday 2nd March 2017

The planned micropub for West Malling is nearing reality after it was given permission to open by the council.

The Malling Jug is set to open in a month’s time, serving real ales and some wine – but no lager, spirits or alcopops.

Based in converted flats at 52 High Street, it will open from noon to 9pm each day except Tuesdays.

Business partners David Catterall and Rick Mason were ‘overjoyed’ at getting planning permission from Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council on Wednesday. (Mar 1)

They announced the news on their Facebook page with the message: ‘Planning permission granted. Back of the net.’

It means they can now go flat out to stock the micropub with beer mainly from Kent breweries – although some will be sourced from nearby counties like Sussex.

David’s wife Sarah was at the planning meeting with their architect Peter Trill and said of real ale-drinking pals David and Rick: “They were overjoyed with the news.

“This has been several years in the planning but it was important to get it right for the community. The councillors were doing the right thing too in asking questions of our application. It didn’t sail through the process but now it is all systems go.

“The aim is to open in a month’s time – but it is just an aim. We still have to obtain a drinks’ licence from the council but we are told this shouldn’t be an issue as we have planning permission.

“West Malling is fabulous, with wonderful businesses and a very vibrant nightlife, with restaurants and places to drink. This is something different and may encourage people who have not been for a drink in the ‘village’ for a while to come back.”

And Mr Trill added: “The micropub will have a capacity of about 45 people and, because of its small size, will not have to be very busy to wipe its face financially. It is not a commercial concern – more a venue for the community.

“David and Rick have done their research locally, asking the neighbours for their thoughts on the micropub idea. They held a public meeting explaining the plans and hand delivered leaflets to residents.

“They got the backing of West Malling and their mantra, as set out by the Micropub Assocation, is to ‘listen to its customers.’

“It aims to be the 290th to open in the UK.”