Noise limits allow rural wedding venue to proceed

An inspector applied noise and use limits conditions to permit an events venue at a golf club in the Hampshire countryside.

The proposal involved a permanent structure of three linked tipis and conversion of existing buildings to ten hotel rooms and associated facilities, all sited within the golf course, for the purpose of hosting events such as weddings. In the inspector’s opinion, although the development would increase the spread of built form within the site, its modest single storey size and mature tree screen would limit any visual impact on the national park landscape, also noting that marquees are a feature often found in the English countryside and which do not harm rural character. Subject to a condition, the new buildings would remain ancillary to the golf club and support the rural enterprise, preventing sub-division of the site and an unacceptable intensification of the use.

A particular issue concerned the impact of noise on the living conditions of neighbouring residents and the tranquillity of the national park. The inspector, however, was content that noise could be managed and mitigated effectively through the use of planning conditions imposing a 30-day annual limit and requiring the submission and approval of a noise management plan specifying noise limits for different parts of the day and providing for all amplified sound to stop at midnight. Subject to these limits, he judged the additional noise would be too infrequent to harm an area of medium tranquillity, taking into account background noise from a nearby pub, housing and traffic.

Inspector: Neil Holdsworth; Written representations

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