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Malverleys Farm & Dining in East End near Newbury hopes to extend opening hours

An East End restaurant and café has applied to extend its opening hours to “meet customer demand”.

Malverleys Farm & Dining, which opened its doors to the North Hampshire community last June after several years of development, is hoping it will be able to stay open later five days a week.

The gift shop, deli and restaurant complex currently opens from 8am to 7pm on Mondays to Thursdays, 8am to 9pm on Fridays, 9am to 9pm on Saturdays and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

Malverleys Farm & Dining in East End
Malverleys Farm & Dining in East End

There is no proposed change for Monday and Tuesday opening hours, but it wants to extend Wednesday and Thursday to a 10pm closing time, change Friday and Saturday’s hours to 8am to 11pm and Sunday’s to 8am to 9pm.

If granted, the plans would result in the business being open for an extra 18 hours per week.

Planning documents state: “Whilst Malverleys Farm & Dining has been operating successfully under the permitted hours, our client would like to be able to open later in the evening to be able to provide customers with a relaxed and comfortable dinner experience and to meet customer demand.

Malverleys Farm & Dining in East End
Malverleys Farm & Dining in East End

“Customers, the majority of which are return customers who live in East End and the surrounding villages, regularly ask for later dinner bookings.”

The documents state that the extended hours are not being proposed to accommodate a second dinner sitting, but to allow diners to “to enjoy a relaxed three-course meal and pre- and post-dinner drinks at their table without having to rush”.

They also explain that Malverleys wouldn’t expect any material increase in vehicles entering and exiting the site as “many customers car share or walk and this would continue with the extended hours” and a noise impact assessment undertaken found that “the extended opening hours will not result in any adverse noise impacts to neighbours and as such, the proposals are acceptable in noise terms and in accordance with local plan policies”.

Malverleys Farm & Dining in East End
Malverleys Farm & Dining in East End

Malverleys also wishes to extend the opening hours of its external terraces as part of the plans, as well as extend access to the educational space on the first floor – which often hosts creative workshops and classes – later into the evenings.

The opening hours extension plans can be viewed on the Basingstoke and Deane planning portal at reference 24/00202/ROC.

East Woodhay Parish Council has reacted to the proposal.

A council spokesperson said: “We are aware that many local residents remain concerned that the possible extended opening hours will have a detrimental effect on the local community with additional noise and additional traffic through the hamlet, late at night.

“Given there was almost no traffic late at night before Malverleys opened, this is an important consideration.

“Another issue here which is always overlooked by the planners and about which we are all very concerned is the state of the roads leading to this site—especially the road from Woolton Hill to East End where further degradation of the sides of the roads has rendered them exceptionally dangerous for any cars trying to pass.

“We fear it has become possible, especially in darkness, that vehicles may drop off the road into the deepening ruts now formed, causing considerable damage to the underside of the vehicle or, worse, to the occupants.

“We have called on Hampshire Highways to undertake a further review of this dangerous situation which gets worse with each lorry that visits.”

The parish council will be discussing the application at its planning meeting on Monday, February 19 at 6pm in Woolton Hill Church Hall.

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