Fresh plans to open a microbrewery and introduce food trucks and beer tasting along Herne Bay seafront have been unveiled.
The bid is the third attempt in three years by bosses at the Whitstable Oyster Company to realise their ambitions for the site in Reculver.
Fears over unsustainable industrial development in a countryside setting have thwarted previous efforts to get the project off the ground.
However, the oyster firm has remained undeterred by the rejections.
The latest bid to build a microbrewery and visitor centre with room for rotating food trucks has been officially submitted to Canterbury City Council.
In planning documents, company chiefs claim it would boost tourism and “offer a greater range of opportunities for residents” while placing emphasis on the use of local produce.
The papers read: “The amended scheme reintroduces the tourism and leisure aspect to allow visitors to experience the brewery and for it [to] become [an] attraction in its own right.
“This development will provide a unique attraction for local, domestic and international tourists.
“It will contribute to the tourism offering in the Kent area and benefit the local economy.
“Its function as a tourism and business operation by the applicant would naturally lead to the general tidying and future maintenance of the site, to the benefit of the visual amenity of the area and the setting of the nearby heritage assets.
“Whitstable Brewery prides itself in producing beer from local ingredients where possible, whether that is using whole Whitstable oysters in the Oyster Stout or using fruits purchased from local farms for the fruited beers.”
The previous version of the proposal had seen the emphasis on the visitor centre reduced after advice from the local planning authority.
However, this time around, the firm says the guest facilities “form a core component of the proposed development” - offering brewery tours and guided tastings.
A stone’s throw from the iconic Reculver Towers, the brewery would sit on part of an operational oyster hatchery, taking over two storage buildings connected to the farm.
If approved, it is hoped the scheme could open up six full-time roles and six part-time placements on site.
The brewery plans to operate between 7am and 5pm on weekdays, while the visitor centre would be open between midday and 9pm Fridays and Saturdays and 6pm on Sundays.
It is expected customers would need to pre-arrange their visits to sample on-site and purchase beer to take home.
‘It will contribute to the tourism offering in the Kent area...’
Head brewer Will Green told KentOnline in August the Reculver plans were to “feature a more substantial family-friendly taproom area” and “outdoor seating with rotating food trucks and lawn games”.
“Brewery tours would offer an introduction to the equipment and process of making craft beer,” he said.
“Guided tastings would educate guests on beer styles, ingredients, and food pairing.
“The premises would also support the brewing community including home and craft brewers by providing a place for regular meetings and help with continuing education.
“The building aims to inform of the brewing process, which has long been a tradition in the county.”
A microbrewery can be defined as a small, usually independently owned, brewery that produces limited quantities of specialised beers and is generally recognised as producing fewer than 1.63 million litres of beer and ale a year.
The proposals come despite councillors branding it a “glorified shed” in 2020, and is the latest effort by Whitstable Oyster Company to expand its Whitstable Brewery operations.
Last month, plans for a nano brewery on Whitstable beach were approved, with residents giving high praise to the scheme, which will “support a heritage craft for which Kent is renowned”.
Resident Sophie Holliday was a fan, saying: “With craft beer becoming more popular, I think this is a great idea.
“I love the idea of learning more about how it’s brewed and being able to enjoy it on the seafront.”