Decision deferred to use Whitby's Sneaton Castle as a hotel, restaurant and wedding venue

A decision on whether to grant the new owners of the historic Sneaton Castle centre in Whitby a premises licence to run it as a hotel, restaurant and wedding venue has been deferred.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 9:30 am
Updated Monday, 18th November 2019, 9:30 am
Sneaton Castle. Picture by Ceri Oakes

John Morley and Ashley Lyth applied to Scarborough Council for the licence for the Castle Road venue which would see alcohol sold until 1am and also allow for live music and other events to be held on the site.

Scarborough Council’s licensing sub-committee met on Friday after more than 20 residents objected to the proposals, mainly on the grounds of possible noise and disturbance.

The councillors heard that the Morley family, who own the nearby Stables at Cross Butts, purchased the former priory from the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete who approached the family as they wanted the site to remain in local hands.

Neighbours objected to the application, fearing noise and music held from marquees on the grounds would cause them disturbance.

Richard Arnot, solicitor for the Morley family, told the committee that specialist sound equipment would be used that would combat and noise and disruption to local residents.

He added: “You have a well-meaning, local applicant, somebody who is part of the community and has absolutely no intention of upsetting anybody and wants a sustainable business that will be in the family for years to come.

“The only way to do that is to be responsible and to respect the community.”

The applicant agreed not to have any live or recorded music on the grounds at the front of the property to mitigate some of the residents’ worries. A strict events management plan would also be put in place and neighbours would be given a phone number for the site to reach the owners if they have any issues when an event is ongoing.

Many of the objectors said that they wished the Morley family success but wanted to ensure they could live in peace in their homes.

Whitby Mayfield Ward Cllr David Chance spoke on behalf of some of the residents.

He said: “The site is completely surrounded by housing and I do worry about noise breakout, I am not an inexperienced person in the subject, I ran the Cambridge Folk Festival for a number of years.”

Other residents said they could hear noise from events at Cross Butts, which is further from their homes than Sneaton Castle, and worried it would only be louder if the licence was granted.

Following a five-hour-long hearing the councillors decided to defer the decision to allow them to study the application in detail.

A decision will now be handed down early this week.