Plans to include a vineyard and winery at a spirit distillery in Pondwell have been refused by the Isle of Wight Council.
The planning application, submitted in March, was asking permission to build a winery next to the the former Wishing Well Pub, now the home of Mermaid Gin producer, the Isle of Wight Distillery.
According to a design and access statement, the mixed agricultural and tourism development would help Rosemary Vineyard owner Conrad Gauntlett establish the replacement winery business, which would serve the proven demand for this type of niche tourism.
Planning for 140 houses
Rosemary Vineyard and visitor centre is currently situated in Ashey — however, the current site has planning permission for 140 houses.
A few acres of vines have been planted on the Pondwell site, but it is not as large as the former site. More vines are envisaged by the applicant.
A two-bedroom flat was also proposed above the winery to serve as a managerial property to comply with licensing requirements.
However, local residents and Nettlestone and Seaview Parish Council, objected the proposals, with one asking developers to ‘please listen to the community’ and saying it was a ‘continued erosion of our green fields’.
Isle of Wight Council planning officers rejected the proposals saying the design would introduce a visual prominent development which would be harmful to the visual amenity and the resulting street scene.
In the officer’s report, it said:
“While the principle of the rural business can be supported, the delivery of such a scheme would not outweigh the demonstrable harm in terms of design and scale.”
Parking spaces for eco lodge
Issues also surrounded the number of parking spaces which would be available after the development — an eco lodge development has previously been given permission and the ten parking spaces remaining would be too few.
Officers said it would have a detrimental impact on the highway network and safety as a result.
The applicants have 28 days, from 6th May, to appeal the officer’s decision.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed