Transformation plans for part of the Wiston Estate are set to be discussed later this week.
The overall aim for the future of the site just off the A24 between Washington and Findon is to create a rural business park, anchored by the Wiston Estate Winery.
The estate is seeking planning permission to demolish, convert, replace and extend the existing winery and employment space at North Farm, as well as creating five self-contained holiday units.
The application is due to be discussed by the South Downs National Park Authority’s planning committee on Thursday (February 14), with officers recommending approval.
According to the application the scheme is proposing expansion and alteration of the existing winery facilities to increase production from an annual maximum average of 121,000 to 250,000 bottles.
The changes also aim for the winery to become a visitor attraction with small group tours visiting both the winery production area and the vineyard.
Integral to these plans are the reception area, retail space, and café. These public areas would also be used for various public and private events.
The existing access, via the grade separated junction onto the A24 would be widened and extended.
Two new parking areas would be built alongside the creation of a layby for coaches to use as a pick up and drop off point.
The application site was used as a turkey rearing business up to the 1980s and since 2010 has been the home of the winery.
Officers concluded in their report: “Through conception of a strong vision, which has been borne out of the Whole Estate Plan, the proposed development represents a sensitive reuse of the historic core of the farmstead, develops existing diversification, improved visitor experiences and access, and provides space for small business and tourist accommodation.
“It would make better use of existing suitable, and worthy of retention buildings, conserving and enhancing the cultural heritage and improving knowledge and understanding of the National Park.
“The development of the commercial units through this phased approach ensures that the units to be provided will be flexible and suited to the end user, whilst demonstrating lower environmental cost and a positive impact on the quality of life of tenants, which is a requirement of the allocation policy in the emerging Storrington, Sullington and Washington Neighbourhood Plan.”
Full planning permission is sought for the following:
• Demolition of wine and general stores, and existing animal shelter
• Construction of new wine store
• Change of use and alterations to existing threshing barn and adjacent animal shelters to create café, associated kitchen, toilets, shower room and stores
• Replacement structures to create reception, shop and new public entrance and further store associated with winery
• Demolition of seven existing commercial buildings and construction of three replacement buildings (one of which is initially proposed to be used in association with the winery for storage on lees)
• Creation of 44 car parking spaces with additional overspill parking areas
• Widening and extension of existing access from grade-separated junction to A24
• Closure of direct vehicular access from A24 through creation of a double bund.
Outline planning permission is sought for the following:
• Demolition of existing commercial buildings, equestrian and agricultural buildings
(including silos) and removal of equestrian sand training paddock
• Construction of commercial buildings occupying a footprint of up to 6230 sqm (gross
external area), to be subject to the submitted Design Code
• Provision of five self-contained holiday let units
• New parking areas predominantly located within ‘internal courtyard’ areas.