A MEON Valley artist blacksmith has won a national award for a set of gates he created at his forge which is under threat from a planning decision.

William Normandale and assisted by his father Charles have won the prestigious 'Best New Design in a Heritage Setting Award' at the V&A Museum in London.

Peter Preston, of Manifest Design, commissioned Wheely Down Forge just outside Warnford to interpret and make the piece for St Georges Garrison Church, Woolwich.

The forge undertakes varied commissions ranging from churches to public buildings and homes, including fireplaces, gates and doors, railing, balustrades, garden furnitures and sculptures.

The forge opened in 1983 but its future is uncertain following a city council decision. The planning committee last month refused to allow the removal of planning conditions that would have allowed William to live at the forge.

The council cited planning policies that are designed to protect rural businesses but which the Normandales says put the future of their business in doubt.