The owners of Holmfirth Vineyard who were left reeling after a devastating fire ripped through their business are celebrating after winning permission to build an extension to their business.
Becky Sheveling and her husband Ian had seen their business grow in popularity since it opened in 2008.
They offered vineyard tours, wine shop and wine tasting events, along with self-catering apartments as well as a restaurant and cafe making it a key tourist attraction boasting more than 37,000 visitors a year.
At its height the blaze was over 600F as it started in a insulated steel-clad building.
Huddersfield planning sub-committee heard at Huddersfield town hall today that although permission was not needed to rebuild to the same size a detailed application had been submitted for a larger building that would include a replacement winery kitchen area and a new teaching/function room.
There would also be a small mezzanine office area.
More than 40 letters were received in support of the application including one from Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney.
He said: “The vineyard has become an established successful business providing a number of jobs.
“It is important that the business is back up and running as quickly as possible.
“Holmfirth has needed to diversify its tourism industry since the end of the Last of the Summer Wine TV series and the Vineyard presents a shining example of an updated vision of the Holme Valley for decades ahead.”
Mr Sheveling told the meeting: “We employ 18 people and the business has gone from strength to strength. We are an award-winning vineyard which attracts a lot of media interest including BBC’s Countryfile.
“We were devastated by the fire in 2016 and the new design will provide more space.”
But concerns were expressed by some residents and members of the committee that the scheme would generate additional traffic in an area unable to cope with it.
In addition it was said that there had been problems over noise, the lateness of its opening hours and access with concerns also expressed over the couple’s lack of neighbourliness.
But after a long debate permission was approved subject to conditions. Afterwards, Mr Sheveling said he was anxious to get on with rebuilding work as quickly as possible.
He said: “We have just bought another 42 acres for developing the vineyard, putting in 20,000 vines and looking at a £1m investment.”