Frustrating news, I’m afraid, regarding the application to renew our planning permission for the marquee. A planning committee meeting took place on 22 February at which our application was heard. The planning officer recommended refusal of the application. Why? The argument was that the marquee has a negative impact on the setting of the listed building. We argued that this impact is only slight and that there are many substantial benefits that flow from the marquee. In particular, we argued that the wedding business generates income which we use to fund repairs and maintenance of the Hall. It also generates employment, supports other local businesses and brings visitors/tourism to the area.
The councillors decided to defer their decision on the matter, asking the planning officer whether there was room for negotiation and seeking further information. Therefore, we are no further forward at this stage. For those couples interested in 2018 weddings, all I can say is that we will attempt to progress this and will keep you informed. I cannot now confidently predict timescales for a decision or the likely outcome. I will understand if this means that some of you may want to consider alternative venues. This will be a great shame but understandable in the circumstances.
I hope that we can bring this to a successful conclusion. I genuinely believe that the marquee is a good thing for the Hall and our local community.