Brewery owners feel they have been “hounded” by the council since reopening after lockdown.

Doreen Roberts, whose family run Ennerdale Brewery, says they have been visited by officers from Copeland Council on numerous occasions and have been threatened with closure over planning permission for their marquee.

Mrs Roberts said they had paid to have a marquee put up to allow them to host customers outdoors at 50 per cent capacity, in line with government restrictions at the time.

She explained: “Someone from the council came and said that’s fine.

“He returned the next day to inform us that we were not able to play music in our outside area as we had advertised it as an event, although outside events were happening all over the country.

“We have since had another visit to inform us that we had to have planning permission for our marquee or they would take our license from us.”

Mrs Roberts said under council rules, they were allowed to have a marquee for 56 days, before applying for planning permission, which they had adhered to.

She said her husband had now applied to the council to keep the marquee up.

“I know we have to be considerate and aware but we just feel like we are being hounded.

“You go to other places, and people are squashed in and they aren’t abiding by the rules. We’re doing everything we should do.

“I know we have got to be careful but we are trying to make a living and keep our employees on. We’re managing to hang on to them. We’re trying our hardest to keep the business running. It’s only a small family business.

“Everybody is struggling. Just give us the help instead of trying to hinder us and threatening us with shutting us down.”

Copeland’s Public Protection Manager, Jackie O’Reilly, said: “We have a very active and supportive approach on Covid, with our officers visiting premises to give support and information. Often we’ll make multiple visits to check how things are being implemented, or to advise after a change in the national restrictions.

“All businesses are asked to comply with the same government-set measures, and no business is treated differently. We know it’s a busy and stressful time for them, and we are there to support them.

“Although not a Covid issue, we have been reminding businesses that the relaxation of planning requirements for marquees was temporary – so, if that is expired, they would need to take action.”