Agenda item

22/01176/FUL - Crouch Ridge Vineyard, Fambridge Road, Althorne, CM3 6BZ

To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery, (copy enclosed, Members’ Update to be circulated)*.


Application Number



Crouch Ridge Vineyard, Fambridge Road, Althorne, CM3 6BZ


Section 73a application for a barn to be used as a visitors centre, tasting room, café and shop with associated operational development which includes an area of decking, two covered areas, extractor and air conditioning units, a gas tank, container and enlarged car park.


Mr and Mrs R Lonergan – Crouch Ridge Estates


Mr Mark Jackson

Target Decision Date

29 September 2023 (EOT agreed)

Case Officer

Lisa Greenwood



Reason for Referral to the Committee / Council

Member call in by Councillor R G Boyce MBE, based on Policies E4 and E5 of the LDP (2017). 


It was noted from the Members’ Update that since the agenda had been published further information had been received regarding Noise, consultee responses and parking requirements.


Following the Officers presentation, an Objector, Mr Inkpen, Althorne Parish Council representative, Councillor Burgess and the Applicant Mr Lonergan addressed the Committee.


Councillor V J Bell then moved the Officers’ recommendation of refusal as set out in the report and this was duly seconded.


A debate ensued where Members discussed the application specifically, the reasons for refusal, the potential traffic issues on the B1010 and the noise impact on the local amenity.


There being no further debate the Chairperson then moved the earlier proposition of refusal.


In accordance with Procedure Rule No. 13 (3) Councillor U G C Siddall-Norman requested a recorded vote, and this was duly seconded. The voting for refusal of the application was as follows:


For the recommendation:

Councillors, V J Bell, T Fittock, R G Pratt, U G C Siddall-Norman and W Stamp, CC.


Against the recommendation:

Councillors, A S Fluker, L J Haywood, W J Laybourn and M G Neall.





The Chairperson declared that the application was therefore refused.


RESOLVED that the application be REFUSED for the following reasons:


1.         The development is for a café/restaurant, which is classed as a ‘town centre use’ outside of an existing town, village or located employment area, which due to its operating hours, size and nature of operation is not considered ancillary to the wider vineyard use operating at the site. It has not been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority that there is a justifiable and functional need for the activity within this rural location and that that it could not have been reasonably located in existing towns, villages or allocated employment areas. Therefore, the development would be contrary to Policies E2, E4 and E5 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan (2017) and the policies and guidance contained in the National Planning Policy Framework (2021).


2.         The application site lies within a rural location. The development, by virtue of its urban nature, the design, visual intrusion into the countryside, and siting and cluttered appearance of the operational development to the western side of the building, namely but not limited to, the store, gas tank and fencing, hardstanding and container, fails to protect and enhance the character and appearance of the rural area. The development would therefore be unacceptable and contrary to policies S1, S8 and D1 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan (2017) and Government advice contained within the National Planning Policy Framework (2021).


3.         The proposal, by reason of an inadequate level of on-site parking, would be likely to cause additional on-street parking to the detriment of the freeflow of traffic and highway safety and could also further erode the countryside. The proposal is therefore, contrary to policies S1, S8, D1, T1 and T2 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan (2017) and guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Framework (2021).

Supporting documents: