Brewery proponents hopeful appeal process clears the air

·2 min read

The proponents behind a brewery application which has stirred up controversy in Holyrood say they hope that an appeal now before the Eastern Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board will demonstrate that all proper processes were followed and that accusations of conflict of interest are unfounded.

Thomas Williamson, on behalf of himself, Craig Farewell, and Jamie Clarke of Beach Head Brewery, emailed a statement to The Shoreline in response to a request for input on the appeal and petition against the application.

“We take absolutely no issue with the decision to pursue this avenue and we believe that this appeal process will clearly demonstrate that all the proper processes were followed and that there has never been a conflict of interest,” said Williamson. “It is, however, very disheartening to see that false, misleading and potentially defamatory statements have been made regarding a perceived conflict of interest. From our perspective, it's one thing to submit an appeal based on appropriate grounds, but it’s highly inappropriate to begin lobbing accusations at municipal staff, councillors, even other members of the public without any supporting evidence.”

Williamson noted that when accusations were made on social media, the trio immediately sent a letter to council indicating they would sign a sworn affidavit, if need be, legally confirming the owners are the listed Directors on the Registry of Companies website and that no other individual held any form of ownership. “We want to develop this brewery in Holyrood because we love the municipality and we want to be part of the fabric of this amazing community,” read the statement. “Our goal from the outset has been to work collaboratively and we feel that’s been achieved over these past two years through meeting with potential affected parties, taking feedback received through discussions in order to find better solutions, and responding to all questions directed to us by the Town of Holyrood. The brewery will provide residents with a fantastic year-round option that is closer to home and will help bring more people to the town to support other local businesses. The economic benefits through new tax revenue as well as new spin-off businesses will further contribute to the economic development of the area. We understand that for some residents it is difficult to ask them to support this brewery without the opportunity to experience it first-hand. We also respect that the individuals who have submitted the appeal are simply exercising their rights as residents of the municipality. We once again wish to state that we respect the fact that residents have the right to submit appeals and we will ensure that we provide any and all required information so that the Regional Appeals Board can make a determination based on the facts.”

Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News