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Gravesham Borough Council has refused a planning application from Mr Gurmeet Bassi for development in connection with his vineyard at Meopham in Kent. This is in a prominent position in an area of natural beauty, close to popular public footpaths.
The application included a new barn for storage, workshop, office and meeting room, hardstanding for parking and turning and a new access track.
The council rejected the application because it would be conspicuous and prominent within the green belt and would ‘appear as an industrialised monolithic building’, among other reasons.
Says David Thornewell, our local correspondent: ‘We welcome the borough council’s decision to refuse the application. The development, with the changes to the public footpaths previously proposed, would have altered the character of this downland valley for ever.
‘The paths lead from Meopham Green, a favourite starting-point for walks, down into this valley, known as Happy Valley. They offer great views of the surrounding countryside and we would resolutely fight any effort to move them from their historic routes.’