Thatchers unveils new site plans amid residents’ traffic concerns

An artists' impression of the proposed new warehouse at Thatchers Cider.

An artists' impression of the proposed new warehouse at Thatchers Cider. - Credit: Archant

Thatchers Cider has submitted plans to build a new warehouse at its Sandford base to North Somerset Council, but residents have raised concerns over the development.

Around 100 villagers attended a presentation this week to voice their fears of increased lorry traffic, particularly in Banwell, and the potential impact on the landscape.

The proposed development – which will stand 18m tall and mirror the style of the farm’s smaller Jubilee building, which was built in 2014 – will be used for cider storage.

If planning permission is granted, work is expected to begin in 2017.

Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council supported the plans this week, with the caveat it is reviewed by North Somerset Council’s planning and regulation committee.

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But parish councillor Cresten Boase slammed the plans and described the warehouse as ‘overbearing’.

Cllr Boase said: “These are industrial plans on a scale which is wholly inappropriate for an infill village in the countryside.

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“It will cause enormous problems with traffic.

“The enormous unpopularity among Sandford people of further expansion of the cider factory is not just because of the severe traffic impact, the warehouse will dwarf the village.”

But Martin Thatcher, managing director of Thatchers, believes the warehouse will reduce traffic issues.

He said: “If we don’t get permission we may have to warehouse off site, and the places we have looked at would mean we have to go through Banwell which is not very desirable.

“We don’t want to have to spend a lot of money building a warehouse, but the truth of the matter is we need it and it will keep the lorry trips in and out of the site to the minimum we can.”

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