Richard Phillips closes restaurant at Chapel Down Vineyard

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Kent

Richard Phillips' company decided to terminate the lease on its restaurant at Chapel Down after nearly four years of trade
Richard Phillips' company decided to terminate the lease on its restaurant at Chapel Down after nearly four years of trade
Chef Richard Phillips has closed his restaurant at Chapel Down Vineyard in Kent after the local council restricted the number of weddings it could hold.

Phillips' company, Kentish Dining Company, decided to terminate the lease for the restaurant on 24 January because of restrictions placed on its wedding licence by Ashford Borough Council following complaints from nearby residents about noise.

Despite investing in sound-proofing, the restaurant was issued with more enforcements by the council to its wedding licence and coupled with, what the company called a 'dramatic change in economic conditions', it decided it would not be financially viable to continue.

Phillips added: “In our submission to the planning department we informed Ashford Borough Council and Tenterden Council that a reduction in the number of weddings at the venue would create a negative effect on our ability to operate the business successfully. This demonstrates that these people have little consideration for small businesses that are the life blood of local communities."

English wine

In a statement, Chapel Down's chief executive Frazer Thompson, said he was disappointed by the situation but would be working hard to find an operator to take over the restaurant at the Tenterden vineyard as soon as possible.

He said: "We are disappointed by what has happened. Whilst it's a tough business environment out there at the moment, the restaurant has had tremendous trade since it opened in July 2008. In addition, English wines in general and Chapel Down in particular is an exciting place to be right now as we enter Jubilee and Olympic Year.

"We've helped to create a £1m restaurant business and we intend to get the operation trading successfully as soon as possible."

Phillips will now focus on running his other two Kent restaurants - Thackeray's in Tunbridge Wells and Hengist near Maidstone.

Chapel Down's wines are produced from grapes sourced only in the south East of England and include The Union​, a sparkling wine released last year to mark the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

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1 comment

Un-necessary and detrimental bureaucracy.

Posted by DFV,

Ashford & Tenterden Councils Know how to export Jobs out of the county and improve the unemployment prospects for local People & Business

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