Chin-chin! Honiton hotel set to build new cider production plant

A perspective drawing showing what the cider production building will look like.

A perspective drawing showing what the cider production building will look like. - Credit: Archant

Guests at Honiton’s Deer Park Country House can now enjoy a bottle of tasty home-brewed cider after plans for a production plant were approved.

The Deer Park Hotel in Honiton.

The Deer Park Hotel in Honiton. - Credit: Archant

A 440m² building, to be used for all stages of the cider production process, will be built in an agricultural field to the west of the hotel - outside of the curtilage of the listed building.

Apples will be washed and processed, then pressed and fermented before being bottled and dosed inside the plant.

Mark Godfrey, managing director of the Deer Park Country House, said: “Having planted 1,500 cider apple trees last April on six acres of our land, we are really pleased to now have the planning permission to build the cider barn. Our expression of interest has also been approved by the Rural Payments Scheme Growth Fund, which was set up to fund projects in rural areas to help businesses grow and increase employment, so we are on our way to producing our own Devon apple products that our guests will simply love. Our commitment to sustainability, low food miles, diversification and long term investment in the estate and local economy has never been stronger.

“We look forward to the first of many community wassailing events and other traditional celebrations!”

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The unit will be constructed from grey and green cladding panel, which the hotel says will help it ‘blend into the rural landscape’ by having the appearance of a ‘simple barn’.

Its original application said: “High quality food and drink is at the very heart of the business, with an emphasis placed on locally sourced products and ingredients. The hotel already has a successful kitchen garden that provides herbs and fruit and vegetables to the kitchen.

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“With such an importance placed on the provenance as well as the quality of food and drink, the hotel has plans to expand existing apple orchards and produce a range of ciders.

“The ability to provide a variety of cider that has been grown and produced on-site is a natural extension of what the hotel already does. It will also complement the wedding business particularly well.”

The hotel added that the plant will provide the opportunity to offer guests a tour of the orchards and plant, after which they can taste a selection of ciders while overlooking the orchards and production facility.

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