Published: 13:00, 26 September 2021
| Updated: 07:46, 27 September 2021
Wateringbury is set to raise a glass to the return of one of its historic industries after the green light was given for a ‘world-class’ brewery.
Architect TaylorHare has also secured permission for a brasserie, bar and viewing area to allow visitors to watch the beer-making process at Manor Farm, a 19th century, Grade II-listed farm estate and it can trace its beer production history back to 1701.
For 250 years, Wateringbury was known for growing hops, malting barley and brewing beer, until it ended in 1980.
The village is already home to a vineyard owned by Mereworth Wines, which was planted in 2016.
On the estate, there will also be a grains and hops store, bottling plant and eight hoppers’ huts, which will provide accommodation for tourists as well as workers during the hop-picking season.
Work is expected to start on the site in August 2022.
Estate owner William English said: “My family have been supporting beer production in Kent since 1701. Records show that when my great grandparents took on the Manor Farm estate in Wateringbury 115 years ago, they inherited over 15,000 chestnut hop poles as hops were the core crop here at the estate.
“Since returning home after a career in the Army, I have been determined to restore our buildings for the family, for Wateringbury and for Kent, whilst reconnecting to the historic core industry of our village – brewing.”
Tim Hare, director at TaylorHare said: “We are very excited to be playing a key part in this ambitious masterplan.
"Our vision is to focus on creating a multi-generational approach to development distinguished by an individuality that allows the estate to grow naturally into an inspiring campus and unique destination.”
“Preserving and enhancing the existing landscape is fundamental to the long-term future of the estate, where we have ensured existing buildings are selectively upgraded, whilst new buildings sensitively knit into their wider-built setting to create a rich and rewarding environment.
“Creating a scheme like this, that responds to the sensitivity of such an historic site whilst overcoming the consensus of what can be built on green belt land, was challenging.
“It was a careful balance of managing the level of harm against creating a series of architectural interventions that increase the significance of the site into a sustainable world class regional centre of brewing excellence.”