Construction of a café and wine tasting area at a farm in Cottonworth can proceed after being given the go-ahead from Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC).

Black Chalk Wines, based at The Old Dairy on the Fullerton Estate, received permission to convert a former metal workers workshop into offices and a reception as well as a wine tasting area and café last year, but had asked for certain parts of the plans to be amended.

This has now been approved, with planning officer Katie Nethersole saying the changes were “considered acceptable”, with work needing to begin by September 16 2023.

The changes that were approved to the plans include those to the doors and materials used for the outside of the building, as well as changes to the bat mitigation, which was described as “excessively precautionary” following a survey.

There is no change to the heart of the application, which intends that a café will provide “local wine and alcohol, teas, coffees and light snacks” from breakfast until 9pm. An additional 28 new parking spaces, an outdoor seating area and a new toilet block will also be added, with the facility creating one to two jobs.

The plans, initially submitted almost a year on from the initial application in July last year, come amidst a time of increased expansion at the Cottonworth vineyards, which cover 30 acres across the Fullerton Estate.

There are plans to dramatically expand the vineyard to cover 100 acres while a winery allows for the grapes to be processed in the local area. Plans for the installation of condenser, chiller and compressor units to the rear of the winery have also been approved to facilitate this.

Alongside their physical expansion are planed to collaborate on a “first of its kind” space where individuals who want to make wine but lack the facilities and expertise can work with the firm on producing their own vintages.

The plans had the support of Wherwell Parish Council, who were in favour of the original application and the updated plan.