New whisky bar coming to North Laine


A specialist whisky shop can open a bar in the North Laine after councillors unanimously agreed planning permission.

Covent Garden-based Woolf Sung Limited applied to change the use of the former Trafalgar Wines off licence at the bottom of Trafalgar Street into a shop with a tasting bar.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee refused a similar application on 6 May.

However, a Licensing Panel approved alcohol sales for consumption on-site, with spirits limited to whisky, later the same month.

The new plans make the ground floor more obviously retail-led, with the basement turned into a “tasting lounge”.

At Thursday’s Planning Committee, St Peter’s and North Laine ward Green councillor Lizzie Deane opposed the plans for a “pub by stealth” on behalf of residents.

In a statement read out at the meeting, Councillor Deane said even though drinkers would not be outside after 6pm, there would still be noise and disturbance from smokers until 10pm.

She said: “I find it concerning there is a whisky bar open to the public in close proximity to Brighton MET College.

“This second application has, at best, minor tweaks from the previous application, and few, if any, concerns have been allayed.”

Woolf Sung owner Sebastian Woolf told the committee about his ambitions for the site as a “unique space” to educate people about whisky.

He said: “There will be a significant amount of education associated with the venue.

“We will have whisky tasting events where we will invite distilleries down to Brighton.”

After the unanimous vote, Mr Woolf said: “I’m so so happy with the outcome. Ecstatic. The support from family, Brighton locals, distilleries, independent whisky bottlers, planning and friends has kept me going.

“Can’t wait to finish the building now and get started.”

Conservative councillor Dee Simson, who also sat on the Licensing Panel that approved Mr Woolf’s application for alcohol consumption, backed the application.

She said: “I am quite excited by a business like this coming to the city, it’s something quite unique.

“It will bring all sorts of people to the city. It will hopefully bring tourism and create jobs.”

Independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh was on the committee which refused the previous application.

She said: “Mr Woolf is very compelling, and I always support entrepreneurs, it’s what I do in my day job.

“I’ll try and go, but I don’t really like whisky that much.”

Labour councillor Nick Childs said he was satisfied with the new conditions and the plans would improve the building.

He said: “We need to encourage business and entrepreneurs into the city.

“This is an exciting proposal for our city, bringing jobs, more money and tourism into the city.”

Committee chair Green councillor Leo Littman also voted against the previous application and supported the new plans.

He said: “I think it’s one of those examples of this committee doing something good for the city.

“The previous application, had it passed, would have had an unreasonable detrimental effect on residents in the area.”

The new whisky bar is just a stone’s throw away from The Great Eastern, which until recently was a whisky pub before it changed hands.

  1. Pingback: New whisky bar coming to North Laine - Brighton and Hove News - WhiskyNetWhiskyNet

  2. Iain Reply

    Excellent news. Looking forward to visiting. If Seb Woolf has anything to do with this, it’ll be a well run destination.

  3. Pingback: Brighton and Hove News » New whisky bar coming to North Laine - Brighton and Hove News - WhiskyNetWhiskyNet

  4. A.N. Reply

    According to the documents this was refused planning permission on the 21st April. There is no mention of a further decision on the planning application site :

    https://planningapps.brighton-hove.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=Q4IPLWDMGI800

    The article is dated 20th Sept 2020 and mentions ‘last Thursday’ but there is no action to be found from this date.

    There is an appeal, made to the Secretary of State and overriding the Local Authority, submissions to be made before 12th Nov 2020 if you wish to make a representation. This suggests the article does not represent the facts.

  5. j Reply

    imo
    money talks ex Rothschild employee Sebastian Woolf is operating now a complete takeover of this site
    its was a well run and very low key off licence with the owner living on site always mindful of the locale
    a pub by stealth is a understatement imo it look like a a pub by corruption and
    propaganda
    the councillors who have agreed to this should be shamed t what does Fishleigh actually mean by persuasion

    it is going to have a massive detrimental effect upon all poor resident in neighbourhood and locale
    with all his money multi millionaire he actually could have bought in a more suitable location
    but its a pub on the cheap for the rich and illuminati
    like to see anyone throw a stone from there to great eastern just saying

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