From: MB Greer
Sent: 25 February 2019 12:00
To: Lorraine Neale
Subject: MBC re Hush Heath.Feb 2019
Please find attached my letter in support of the Hush Heath Winery, and the minor variations to their Licensing Permission.
Councillor Malcolm Greer
February 25th, 2019.
Maidstone Borough Council,
Dear Ms. Neale,
Please accept this letter as my total support for Hush Heath Winery, and their Application relating to Minor Variations to their Licensing Permission.
I have been involved with Hush Heath Winery since its inception, when I was the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development in Maidstone.
I was originally requested to attend a meeting by representatives of Staplehurst Parish Council, to consider supporting a new Business within their Parish. This being a Winery.
Before giving support I contacted KCC Highways, Visit Kent and spoke to a number of local residents. All comments were positive and I was happy to support this venture.
KCC Highways have never expressed any problems with the Application, even to the point that when the Business opened, my Application for Brown Destination signs was accepted and signage erected.
Since the initial Planning Application, through to the new Extension, I have paid numerous visits to the site, and discussed all matters with Richard Balfour Lynn and his Architect to ensure that the construction meets the highest standards, with respect to noise containment, light contamination and ensuring that the tranquillity and safety of the area is maintained.
During my many visits to this site and over many years, the traffic has been minimal and the only encounters I have experienced have been with agricultural vehicles from adjoining Farms. To minimise the Winery Estate traffic, they use the Estate roads and tracks.
I understand that certain issues have been brought to the Licensing Committee, with reference to alleged breaches to the Application, these relate to Highway issues, of which KCC are not objecting to.
Others are related to possible perceived planning issues which are different regulatory legislation to those of Licensing, and will therefore be addressed by Planning Enforcement should there be any issue.
As mentioned earlier, the building has been constructed to the highest possible standards, using high mass materials to contain any noise issues, and considering that the Winery is a considerable distance from any residents, noise would be within the mandatory requirements.
Relating to the Business, this addresses a number of the Government Directions relating to local employment, tourism, the local economy and exports.
Hush Heath Winery is a leading member of the Wine Garden of England, and produce award winning wines both for the UK market and also for valuable exports.
I am minded that tourism supports approximately 80,000 jobs, which equates to a £3.8billion tourist industry and we should be very proud that we have such an entrepreneurial person who is prepared to support the local economy and charities.
From: GRANT, Helen
Sent: 25 February 2019 17:50
To: Lorraine Neale
Subject: Your ref: 19/00380/LAPRE - application to vary the license – Hush Heath Winery
Dear Mrs Neale
Your ref: 19/00380/LAPRE - application to vary the license – Hush Heath Winery
I write in support of the abovementioned application and cite the following reasons.
I have known the owners since the business opened in 2010 and I have witnessed the growth and development of the winery business into a gold standard visitor attraction for Kent. Having had the pleasure of visiting other wineries in the UK as well the USA I can personally testify that Hush Heath is a model business of world class standing. It is also now forming a central piece of the wider Kent visitor experience alongside other vineyards, historic estates and exceptional rural beauty.
I fully understand the business’s need for the variation to the existing licence, to allow the sale of wine on the premises in addition to just permitting tastings. It is a natural offering for what to me are obvious reasons; simply enhancing the customer experience that other wineries provide by allowing visitors to buy and enjoy a glass of locally produced wine.
I believe there have been a few isolated local concerns about the winery becoming a regular bar or restaurant, or a large events venue. I know from the owners that these are not their intentions, the core business being simply a top-class winery with affiliated amenities. To add to this, they are not open in the evenings and visitors will only be able to drink products produced by Hush Heath, which does not include spirits.
I have been a local Marden resident for a large part of the Winery’s history and, like the majority of others I know who still live in the area, we are very proud of the Hush Heath and the facilities it has to offer. I do not believe there have been any problems arising from unruly visitor behaviour since they opened nine years ago, and neither is a winery the type of business that drives a significant increase in local vehicle traffic. They are a highly professional and responsible enterprise whose products are now served throughout the UK and many other parts of the world. They have no desire to damage their reputation in any way and once again, I commend this application wholeheartedly.
Member of Parliament for Maidstone and The Weald
House of Commons | London | SW1A 0AA | 02072197107
Constituency Office: Maidstone East Station Forecourt, Station Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1QN
From: John Perry
Sent: 26 February 2019 21:19
To: Lorraine Neale
Cc: Louise Brice
Subject: Hush Heath Winery Licence Application
I enclose a joint letter from myself and Councillor Louise Brice in respect of the above Licence Application. I understand that it is planned to hold the hearing on the 28 March 2019; and Councillor Brice and I would like to attend and speak at this hearing.
Senior Licensing Officer
Maidstone Borough Council 25 February 2019-02-25
Hush Winery: Application 19/00380/LAPRE to vary its Licence.
I am writing in regard to the above licensing application. We recognise that some residents have raised concerns regarding this operation and these will need to be addressed. However, it would appear that most of these relate to planning issues per se and are not in the domain of the Licensing Committee.
Hush Heath Winery is now one of the leaders in the production of English Sparkling Wine. It is produced from vines grown on its own estate at Hush Heath, Staplehurst and its products rival that of the finest champagnes. These are very high quality products produced with great care and attention. The ability to offer tastings and purchase bottles and or cases is an integral part of operating a winery and is a practice carried at high quality wineries such as this throughout the world, including others in the UK.
Maidstone Borough Council sees wine tourism as an integral part of its Destination Management Plan and recognises the considerable investment that has made at Hush Heath. As stated above this is a very high quality operation and there is no reason to believe this business will lead to any crime or disorder or problems with public safety. We understand that concerns regarding noise have been raised and it is important that these are considered.
Hush Heath Winery employs local people and plays an important role in our rural economy, which is very much in line with the policies expounded in Maidstone Borough Council’s Adopted Local Plan.
Councillor Louise Brice Councillor John Perry
Ward Members for Staplehurst