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Whitstable Oyster Company submits fresh plans for Reculver microbrewery

New plans to open a microbrewery along a picturesque seafront stretch have been unveiled - just five months after the first bid for the site was snubbed.

Officers from Canterbury City Council branded Whitstable Oyster Company’s original proposals to transform storage sheds in Reculver Lane, Herne Bay , into the beer haven “unsustainable and harmful” .

New CGI showing what the microbrewery could look like
New CGI showing what the microbrewery could look like

But now the firm - run by James Green - has this week submitted a second application for the buildings, currently used for commercial farming.

Papers show it has dispensed with plans to create an outdoor seating area - but that it still wants to hold tasting sessions at the premises, which would allow visitors to sample freshly-brewed beers.

The documents say: “The brewery would offer, on occasion, the opportunity for pre-arranged visits and tours for members of the public to sample on-site and purchase beer to take home. This has the potential to be a tourist attraction, similar to other successful breweries in the district.

“The converted storage units would provide a store, the main brewery with space for 11 fermenting and brewing tanks, a bottling and canning station, spaces for refrigeration and a reception area for deliveries.

“Amendments have been made to the proposal since the previous submission including the removal of the outside seating area and raised deck.”

A photograph showing how the site currently looks
A photograph showing how the site currently looks

Should the fresh bid be approved, Mr Green will move his microbrewery in Maidstone to the Reculver site, which sits on land that comprises an industrial oyster hatchery and farm.

But in their report refusing the initial proposals in March, council officers said the authority’s Local Plan steers drinking establishments to town centres.

They added: “This would represent a main town centre use in the countryside. Officers consider that the proposal would give rise to an unsustainable and harmful form of development.”

However, Mr Green argues the Local Plan does not provide a definition of a rural business.

He also believes the development, which is 260m away from Reculver Towers, would help regenerate the area.

Papers submitted to the council continue: “The development would provide new jobs, bring new business to the area and provide a tourist attraction.”

“The development would help the council to achieve its aim of improving and upgrading this area of Reculver and provide the district with an additional tourist attraction.”

Read more: All the latest news from Herne Bay

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