Ryedale Council reject farm's 'destination wedding venue' application after objections from villagers

Plans to create a “destination wedding venue” at a farm in Ryedale village have been refused after concerns were raised by local residents about the increase in traffic and noise.

The owners of Sproxton Hall Farm in Sproxton, which lies within the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, had applied to Ryedale District Council for a change of use for buildings on the land to host weddings.

More than 80 objections to the plans were made and last night (July 6) planning councillors threw the proposal out as they felt the potential disturbance to neighbours was too great.

The development would have converted a range of existing, traditional farm buildings, which are no longer required for agricultural purposes, to form an events barn for use as a wedding venue or for conferences.

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More than 80 objections to the plans were made. (Photo: Google)

A car park with 50 spaces would have been created to cater for weddings with up to 180 guests during the day and up to 220 guests on an evening in order to rival Scotland, Cornwall and the Lake District as a venue for people to tie the knot.

Planning officers at Ryedale Council concluded that the proposals would “result in significant noise and disturbance” to people in the village, especially due to the increase in traffic on the village’s narrow streets.

Councillors agreed and refused the change of use unanimously. It had previously been deferred by the committee for the applicant to try to address concerns that had been raised.

Cllr Michael Cleary said it was a shame to refuse the change of use but there was now no choice for the committee.

He said: “It is an outstanding application and all other things being equal it would be something we would enjoy looking at and it would benefit the area.

“But [the traffic] is an overwhelming problem and if the business is successful, it would attract hundreds of vehicles. It is just not on.”

That view was echoed by Cllr Caroline Goodrick who said the disturbance would be “simply unacceptable for the residents”.

Cllr Mike Potter added: “Under most circumstances this would be an acceptable application, certainly in regard to farm diversification and employment.

“Unfortunately, the location is unsuitable for such a venue.

“I would suggest that it is unwise to highlight the quiet rural location as being a key attraction when up to 220 people are expected to make merry and arrive and depart at roughly the same time, through a small linear village with a single torturous street and very low ambient noise levels.”

The applicants in their submission said the change of use would have created new employment opportunities and that “increased productivity and profit” from the proposal would have provided the farm with a sustainable business model and allowed it to succeed in the future.

They also said that it was possible to mitigate the noise from the events held at the farm.

The committee did grant the applicant, an A Wainwright and Son, listed building consent to convert the farm buildings to accommodate weddings but without the change of use it means that the events cannot be held.