Controversial wedding venue licence approved
Nicholas Thomas – Local Democracy Reporter
Newlyweds will be allowed to have their wedding receptions at a countryside marquee despite considerable opposition from people living nearby.
Caerphilly councillors have granted a licence to Marcus and Lisa Hobbs to host events on their land at Ty Cae Brith Farm, Mynyddislwyn, in the summer months.
The venture was not meant to be “a full-time business”, but would supplement the farm’s income, Mr Hobbs previously told the council’s licensing and gambling sub-committee.
The committee approved the licence after hearing objections from a group of residents, who claimed the wedding venue would lead to noisy disturbances and cause traffic problems in narrow country lanes.
One resident had complained of hearing “voices” and “bad language” during previous events.
They were supported by two councillors who backed criticisms of the wedding venue plans.
Cllr Jan Jones, of the Ynysddu ward, said the marquee and the proposed events were “not compatible” with the “country lifestyle”.
Newbridge ward councillor Gary Johnston said there was “no place” for the wedding marquee in Mynyddislwyn, and said the people who lived in the area “respect the countryside”.
Mr Hobbs, the applicant, had told the committee he planned for around ten events a year on alternate weekends.
Wedding receptions would hold up to 150 guests, and be held on Saturdays from May to September, he added.
The committee noted Gwent Police had raised no objections to the plans, and “did not believe that there was an existing issue with crime and disorder within Mynyddislwyn”.
While one previous event at Ty Cae Brith Farm had reportedly resulted in an incident of “lower-level disorder”, the committee found this “appeared to have been a one-off” and “there was very little, if any, evidence that other events… had resulted in similar behaviour”.
The committee also addressed the road safety concerns flagged by many objectors.
They found that while the road to the venue had a national speed limit of 60mph, a “common-sense assumption is that the vast majority of drivers tend to drive to the conditions around them”, and there was “no obvious reason for the assumption to be made that guests driving to a wedding reception at [the venue] would not behave in this usual manner”.
The committee granted the licence subject to a lengthy list of conditions, including that Mr and Mrs Hobbs abide by a CCTV policy and hire a minimum number of door staff for events.
They must also run a “Challenge 25” policy for alcohol sales, and adhere to a “list of mitigation measures implemented to reduce noise from the licensable premises”.
Mr and Mrs Hobbs have lodged a separate planning application for their proposed venue.
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