Noise concerns over vineyard licence proposal

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A premises licence application for a vineyard in Gawcott will be heard by Aylesbury Vale District Council on Monday.

The application includes plans to sell alcohol from 9am-midnight as well as music, live and recorded, dancing and film showings at Chafor Vineyard on Preston Bissott Road. Applicant Timothy Chafor wants to hold wine tastings, open days and educational tours at a purpose built visitors’ area in a barn and outside during the summer months.

He said: “The 2013 vintage, our first, is nearly ready for release and we would like to be able to sell the wine at the ‘farm gate’, therefore the vineyard needs a premises licence.

“We fully appreciate that some residents may not understand our aims in this regard. We will attract visitors that have a sense of place - ie that appreciate English produce grown locally - and will welcome the opportunity to taste the wine in the field that it has grown in.

“Over the years I have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received from the village and I am looking forward to hosting various farming and WI groups for educational tours and talks throughout the summer.”

But some neighbouring residents, including Gawcott and Lenborough Parish Council, have concerns about the plans, including noise disturbance and public safety.

In a letter to AVDC, council chairman Alan White said: “The proposals are in keeping with an urban, town centre operation and are not appropriate for a rural, edge-of-village location.”

The council asked AVDC’s licensing committee to consider restricting the hours of operation for the site and the numbers of permitted visitors to contribute to the public safety of all.