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Objections raised to Pinchington Hall wedding venue plans near Thatcham
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PLANS to change the use of Pinchington Hall in Crookham into a wedding venue have been met with objection.

West Berkshire Council granted a licence last year allowing weddings, parties, music events, outdoor film screenings and “a certain amount of Airbnb” to be held at the site.

Applicants Mark Smith and Linda Beechey-Smith have now applied to change the use of the building from residential to a mixed use as a wedding venue, and/or as a house under Sui Generis use.

Homes have been built less than 10 yards from the hall, the notorious former Crookham Court School, and residents have said they have already been subjected to loud disturbances from guests at the hall.

One resident said they first experienced very loud noise disturbance and the police had been called, however officers had said they had no powers to deal with noise.

As recently as a fortnight ago there had been more noise and disturbance.

"We do not have a problem with weddings, but believe that if this application is successful it will give validity to a bad situation," the resident said.

Another objector said they had experienced disturbances since they moved in, being woken at 3am by guests staying at the manor as well as loud noise from a baby shower event.

"Any noise in this semi-rural estate is too much noise," they said.

"This is a small development with 13 houses - many will have children and many will be moving or have moved to have a quiet lifestyle. Noise and disturbance from a wedding venue will not be able to be contained.

"The noise levels will be intolerable and there will be consistent disturbances to this small family estate.

The medium-secure psychiatric unit Thornford Park, which is opposite the hall, a West Berkshire Council environmental health officer and residents had objected to the "ill-conceived, inconsiderate and thoroughly antisocial" licencing application due to its impact on the quiet semi-rural location.

But approving the licence the council said that on balance the concerns were not supported by evidence that would justify refusal.

The council's environmental health department has now objected to the change of use saying "if these premises are used as a wedding venue this will probably involve amplified music and generally rowdy behaviour which will probably cause a noise nuisance to neighbouring residents.

Thatcham Town Council strongly objected on the grounds of noise and parking nuisance to neighbouring residents.

Speaking at a recent meeting town mayor John Boyd said he had heard of disturbances and the police being called.

He said: "It's just one of those things where people are flouting the rules to their own ends.

"It's really not something I would like to see and it's exactly as we said before that there shouldn't be licensed events up there. Everything we feared has come to pass.

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