Fine wines storage plans anger Gastard village

This Is Wiltshire: Dick Tonge Dick Tonge

Plans for a storage warehouse in Gastard, which could hold up to 300,000 cases of fine wine, have angered local residents, who believe it will destroy the village’s environment.

A planning application has been submitted by Octavian Vaults, for a development at Eastlays Mine.

It would be permanently maintained at a chilled temperature, for storage of rare and valuable wines, worth millions of pounds.

The firm – which has clients including Sir Alex Ferguson and Lord Lloyd Webber – has an underground facility in former mines, but they have been filled.

It has been storing its wine overflow at a former air force hangar in Colerne.

Holistic therapist Shelley Harrop, 58, lives off the main B3353, and is among those campaigning to stop the development.

She said: “We have been doing this for about a-year-and-a-half now and there has been so much dissent, with people saying about the impact on traffic and the increase in lorries.

“There are already huge lorries which come up into the village and this will just make it worse.

“It will be enormous and all the little cottages up that lane will see an enormous impact.”

Octavian Vaults’ application has already been opposed by Box Parish Council and Corsham Town Council, citing the ecological impact of building the 11m-high warehouse on the site.

Mrs Harrop said: “It’s such a huge thing on such a wonderful site and it will have a huge effect on the animals and the ecology of the area.

“There are many industrial units around this area which they could go to. Why come into a village?

“The impact of the light and the noise will be horrendous from those fans keeping the wine at a certain temperature above ground.”

Corsham Without and Box Hill councillor Dick Tonge got the warehouse application called in to Wiltshire Council’s planning committee for a final decision.

The council’s judgement on approving the Eastlays Mine proposal is expected to be made on April 2.

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