The Vinorium's "architecturally-magnificent" building granted planning permission

Proposals for a new rural headquarters for Kent-based wine merchants, The Vinorium, have been granted planning consent.

The planning committee overwhelmingly voted in favour of the application on the grounds of good design and contributing to employment in the rural economy” and “the enhancement of its setting”.

The Vinorium is one of the UK’s leading Australian wine specialists, although it also has a range of wines from around the world.

Founder, Stuart McCloskey, told DRN: “We are thrilled to finally receive planning permission to build an architecturally-magnificent building. Our new home will be both sympathetic to nature and our surroundings, which is very much the foundation of our company values.

“We are the UK’s leading Australian wine specialist and import in excess of 150,000 bottles per year resulting in a conscious decision to offset our carbon footprint as much as commercially possible. 

“We intend to enhance the habitat in which our home will stand – from the design of a large wild meadow roof, bringing bees to our site, planting hedgerows, which is an extremely valuable habitat for wildlife as well as providing a natural barrier for our small vineyard.

“Of course, the building itself will be ecologically responsible. We intend to plant our vineyard with cuttings from many of our cooler climate Australian producers.

“Vines from Tasmania, Victoria and the Margaret River will be planted which will be an incredibly exciting prospect.

“We will also harness the skills from our producers who will assist in the production of our wine. The biggest impact will be for our team members who will be enjoying the organic and peaceful surrounds; meetings in our garden, beautiful views, time spent amongst the vines and small orchard and enjoy daily lunches, which will be sourced from our very own vegetable plot.”

The planning committee voted against a previous recommendation to refuse the application based on a policy which seeks to encourage employment in more sustainable locations. In this instance it was deemed The Vinorium needed to be in a rural setting located centrally to the Kent winemakers.

The building has been designed by Guy Holloway Architects and the aim was to showcase the best of wines and the ecological initiatives in the Kent countryside, while continuing The Vinorium’s belief in providing wellbeing and an enjoyable working environment for its employees.

The building includes a welcoming area for retail and a wine tasting room, wine storage, communal dining and a “soft area” for collaborative working. Additional facilities include a bedroom, gym and climbing wall and an outdoor sundeck and fire pit to create a “uniquely domestic workspace” for the team.

Biodiversity is supported by the green roof and also the inclusion of bird and bat boxes, beehives and a reflecting pool. Honey will be produced on-site alongside wine made from its own organic vineyard with vines selected from around the world.

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