Objectors to plans at Holmfirth Vineyard have been branded the “worst case of nimbyism” a long-standing councillor has ever seen.
The Holmbridge vineyard secured retrospective planning permission for a 16m wide circular public viewing area at the visitor spot that attracts up to 25,000 visitors a year.
Kirklees councillors agreed 10 votes to five that the platform – created by building up land on the site – could stay.
But a row between vineyard owners Ian and Rebecca Sheveling of Woodhouse Farm, Holmbridge, and neighbours has surfaced.
Mr Sheveling said it had affected their child’s education and hobbies, while neighbours said the vineyard’s operations affected their quality of life.
Clr Jean Calvert, a member of the Huddersfield Planning Committee, described the divide between the vineyard and neighbours as “a shame” adding: “This is the worst case of nimbyism (not in my back yard) I’ve ever seen. I’ve been there and it looks brilliant.”
The viewing platform was originally formed to create a viewing area for the 2014 Tour de France, when the vineyard had a marquee on the site.
It was removed after enforcement by Kirklees Council, but the raised ground level remained and it’s that the vineyard owners sought to retrain.
The vineyard argued that it benefits their operations, which include daily tours, with the space use as a rest area.
But there were 49 objectors.
One of them, Brian Duckett, said: “This business pushes the boundaries every time. We feel the council aren’t taking our concerns seriously.”
He outlined a meeting, brokered by ward councillors, with senior council officers and the vineyard that attempted to resolve the neighbourly disputes.
But he said conditions had been broken since and neighbours had experienced late night noise and feared worse was to come.
Mr Sheveling said they had permitted development rights, and said the objections were part of a “hate campaign” by two families that culminated in his son being unable to go to Beavers or the school of their choice.
Clr Ken Sims, a ward and planning committee member, said sections of the community had been “vicious” to the Shevelings but he added they had “flouted” planning law and they had to learn their lesson to win support locally.
Members were told that the vineyard would need to go through the council’s licensing channels to stage events at the public viewing area and that it wasn’t a planning matter.