Vineyard Update 2.06.21

Vineyard Meeting Summary

On the 27 May, members of Cuxton Parish Councillors along with our Medway Councillor, Matt Fearn, and residents of Upper Bush were invited to a virtual meeting with the management team of the proposed Vineyard development at Upper Bush.  A professional team of consultants, architects and other experts laid out the proposed plans that will be presented to Medway Council for their comments on 14 June.  The vineyard company also intend to distribute a survey to residents in Cuxton village, Upper and Lower Bush and North Halling during June/July to gain their views on the proposed development. There will also be two more virtual consultations on 23 June and 1 July. A formal planning application to Medway Council will follow this period of consultation.

The current plan is to create a Vineyard Vault Visitors Centre in land to the south of Upper Bush and create a new entrance way leading from Bush Road to a car park, from which visitors can walk to the vault centre.  This is going to comprise a semi underground design which will apparently blend into the landscape. No doubt visual presentations of the design will soon be available.  Much discussion took place on the way that the whole project will be organic and bio-diverse and achieve net zero carbon emissions.  The proposed development will also provide 75-100 local employment opportunities.

This is a major planning application which will affect the village and whilst it appears every effort is being made by the company and world renowned architect Lord Foster to reduce the environmental impact of the Vineyard Vault, there are areas where the impact on local residents and the wider population needs further consideration. The disruption during construction and the suitability of the chosen access route to the site was not fully addressed at the presentation and the Parish Council have requested sight of some of the reports on which the plans have been based. Once plans are available to us to share with residents we will organise a public online meeting to allow clarification

However, all this is in the very early stages and the Parish Council would like to reassure residents that we are fully involved and will update residents as further information is received. A letter outlining the initial concerns of the Parish Council will be sent to Cllr Fearn so that he can raise these issues at the project presentation to Medway Council on 14 June.

The Parish Council encourage all residents to participate in the survey when it becomes available to ensure that as many views from residents are considered before the planning application is submitted.