The UK’s oldest wine merchant has had plans to set up a base in Andover approved by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC).

Berry Bros. & Rudd will build a distribution warehouse and offices at Andover Business Park, with over 10,000 square metres of space to store its wine in.

From the site, the firm will distribute its wares across the UK, complementing a warehouse located up the M3 in Basingstoke.

Berry Bros. & Rudd was founded in 1698 by a woman known only as the Widow Bourne. Starting off by selling groceries, particularly coffee, the business subsequently expanded into a wide range of products.

Gradually, it began to specialise in providing wine and spirits, and became the official supplier of wine to the Royal Family, beginning in the reign of King George III. This still continues to this day.

Plans for the site were submitted in December 2020, outlining the proposals for the warehouse, offices, and access to the new facility, to supplement outline planning permission for the area which was given in 2017.

The warehouse will be built on Plot Five of Andover Business Park, adjacent to the previously constructed UK headquarters of Rich Products and the site of a future warehouse for Wren Kitchens, which was given approval in June last year.

The site will include offices and a meeting room for staff, as well as 10,684 square metres of storage, in addition to 27 car parking spaces.

Trees and bushes will be planted around the site, while solar panels will be placed on the roof of the building to meet almost 15 per cent of its energy needs.

Concerns had been raised during the planning process by Hampshire Highways, who said that proposed retaining walls on the site “are likely to hamper” articulated lorries from reversing into the site, and asked for a tracking diagram to prove how they could do so safely.

The applicants provided the document, which shows lorries will use a specially constructed turning circle before reversing, giving them the space to manoeuvre.

Following these concerns being addressed, planning permission for the site was granted by TVBC on March 29. Construction on the site will begin in due course.