Residents claiming noise nuisance from a woodland wedding venue have won a partial victory.
Neighbours told a council licensing hearing that music coming from Cockley Woodland Weddings in Liley Lane, Grange Moor, was like living next to a “big disco.”
Mike and Jane Smith, who run the venue at Ninevah Farm, have been locked in a dispute with neighbours for several months.
Kirklees Council has twice refused planning permission for the wedding venue and Mr and Mrs Smith have appealed the latest decision.
In the meantime, the couple can hold around 15 weddings a year under so-called ‘permitted development.’
The couple, however, applied for a premises licence to supply alcohol on and off the premises on Monday-Sunday 10am until midnight and to play recorded music from 11pm until midnight, also on Monday-Sunday.
Around 10 objections were raised, including one from Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood who described the location as “inappropriate.” There were also two petitions signed by 22 people.
Objectors attended a virtual meeting of a Kirklees Council Licensing Panel. After a hearing lasting more than two hours the panel granted the sale of alcohol but refused permission for recorded music to be played.
During the hearing Mr and Mrs Smith told the panel they wanted to be good neighbours and that was the reason for the application.
Mr Smith said: “We are aware local people are concerned about noise but we can operate under permitted development with temporary event notices.
“However, we wanted to give the council some control. We are thinking about local residents and we genuinely don’t want to cause any nuisance.
“This is giving people more control over the situation. It’s giving people peace of mind.”
The panel was told that three weddings had been held so far and the couple said they only intended to hold weddings on Saturdays during the wedding season.
The venue had reached an agreement with Kirklees Council’s Environmental Health department about conditions relating to noise.
Peter Claxton, who lives 800 metres away from the venue, told the panel: “What concerns me most is the noise nuisance and loss of amenity.
“We are a near neighbour directly affected and it’s not possible to sit in our garden and enjoy birds singing or reading a book without what appears to be a disco with singing and shouting. This is the wrong place.”
Another local resident, Marjorie Wheelhouse, said: “It’s like a big disco with all the noise. At night noise travels more and it’s very intrusive.”
Ms Wheelhouse questioned why Mr and Mrs Smith wanted a licence to operate seven days a week when they told the hearing they would only run weddings on a Saturday.
Summing up, Ms Wheelhouse said she believed the licence application was just “another way to get around planning.”