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12/05/2021

Rustic wedding venue in Newent results in dissent among neighbours

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A rustic outdoor wedding proposed by a farmer can virtually alienate him from his neighbours. Mrs Fiona Heison from Newent has intentions of building a timber gazebo to hold seasonal and occasional weddings.

Quite a few neighbours have objected to these plans, which include building a temporary marquee or tipi for hosting the celebrations. These plans also include a glamping site for the wedding couple and the guests whom they will host. Their grievances are mostly the traffic this event will generate in this quiet, calm Gloucestershire countryside.

Owners of the Three Choirs Vineyard have expressed dissent that this event can practically repel people from coming to their £ 200-night hotel because of all the noise this event will produce and potentially endanger some people’s employment.

Mrs Heison, in her defence, states that the position of the land will nullify the noise coming from the event place. Springbank Farm consists of five acres of land with property and gardens. It also has a tall barn structure, which was useful in the butterfly business.

In her application, Mrs Heison seeks permission to conduct a rustic wedding on those premises along with marquees, gazebos, and all the joys of a rustic wedding.

She also adds that there would be parking for about 25 cars and the marquees will be situated there for just ten days. The property is not visible to the neighbours at all because it is surrounded by dense greenery. She assures that there will be portable toilets and a glamping area. 

Thomas Shaw, the managing director of Three Choirs Vineyard, who is also a neighbour of Mrs Heison, tells that his restaurant is just across the valley where the wedding is supposed to take place. 

His business has catered to the demand of its guests for nearly 30 years. The guests come there for an environment of peace, tranquillity, and calm. His business has also blended with the local environment seamlessly. He has turned down weddings in the past to avoid disturbing the peace and the balance of the neighbourhood. 

He claims that a venue that will host noisy events, near their doorstep, will harm their business. He further claims that he knows from experience, such a venue will create plenty of ruckuses not only due to the music but also the alcohol. The glamping area would create even more chaos.

Inhabitants of Birches Lane have expressed their grievances over the disturbances that will be caused if the event takes place. Newent Town Council has also expressed their concern and weighed on this matter.

Neil Shellard, a planning official, believes that the applicant hasn’t thought about any noise management or cancellation policy because the event will supposedly be quite noisy.

The application is based on the rule of The Law Commission, allowing couples to be married anywhere ranging from the garden to cruise ships. Professor Nick Hopkins, who is a family law commissioner, advocates this.

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