Budleigh vineyard house bid in AONB kicked out

PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 November 2016

Alan and Faye Pratt of Lily Farm Vineyard.

Alan and Faye Pratt of Lily Farm Vineyard.

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A controversial plan to build a new house on agricultural land in Budleigh Salterton has been turned down by the district council.

Budleigh wine producers Faye and Alan Pratt had applied to extend their premises, in Dalditch Lane, and build a three-bedroom manager’s house on the site.

This two-part application would have seen extra space created at Lily Farm Vineyard’s current building and a new two-storey ‘manager’s accomodation’ built separately.

The application had drawn opposition from residents in Dalditch Lane, who were concerned that the house would be in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

At an East Devon development management committee meeting on Tuesday, district councillors voted to reject the application.

They cited as reasons for refusal the lack of need for a house on the site, its place outside Budleigh’s built-up area boundary and it being located in the AONB.

Speaking at the meeting, Mrs Pratt told councillors that the business needed the extra space to produce wine onsite and a house would allow a presence overnight to help boost security.

However, Peter Manfield, speaking at the meeting on behalf of Dalditch Lane residents, said the proposal was for a house ‘masquerading’ as business development.

Councillor Helen Parr said: “I am not convinced of the financial need.

“You can understand that there needs to be someone on site in the middle of the night.

“I am very supportive of the development of the other building, especially something that could help make wine on site.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mrs Pratt said the couple was ‘disappointed’.

“The decision has put us in a difficult position,” she said. “We cannot take forward the business in its current set-up and that is what we were looking to address.

“We have got to consider the options.”

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