THE owner of a building which has been earmarked as a new craft beer tap room and café has called for the plans to be approved.

Paul Stephens, who runs popular coffee and craft beer shop, Two Brews, in Crouch Street, Colchester, hopes to team up with popular brewer Mark Watson in the new venture in the former Buddhist centre, in Manor Road.

READ MORE: Exciting tap room and café plans afoot for former Buddhist centre

The pair initially plan to move Two Brews from its current home into the top floor of the two-storey building before transporting Mr Watson’s micro-brewery into the outbuildings.

They also hope to convert the bottom floor and garden into a tap room, where visitors will be able to sample Mr Watson’s wares alongside speciality coffee.

But the project has been met with opposition from neighbours, who have cited concerns over parking, antisocial behaviour and noise - name checking nearby venue, the Kings Arms.

However, Paul Stokes, who owns the proposed venue, has written in support of the plans. He was responsible for giving the building an overhaul for "near dereliction to a satisfactory business premises".

He said: "I do not accept that the proposed tenants will be a problem to nearby residents or that parking will be a problem.

"Regarding the noise, the public house [Kings Arms] which adjoins the property regularly has up to 100 people using the beer garden seven-days-a-week.

"Our tenant caters for a niche client with much fewer people.

"Finally, I understand from the management of the Buddhist centre, they received complaints from some residents about prayer meetings being too loud so no tenant would seem suitable."

Graham Seal has also written in support of the plans.

He said: "I can only see this new venture as a good thing. Both are small local businesses which should be supported by local people.

"I can say from experience, the sort of establishment this plans to be is not one which will attract alcoholics and antisocial behaviour; you won't find four cans of special brew for a fiver.

"It will be a place for people who appreciate good quality hand-brewed craft beer and like to drink it socially and responsibly with like-minded enthusiasts.

"I hope this application is successful as it can only be a positive addition to Colchester."