The owners of the Grand Banqueting Suite, on Huddersfield Road, have asked to open seven days a week, including on bank holidays, from 11am to 11pm. The application includes improving parking by almost doubling the number of spaces on site.
Planners will meet to consider whether the move will solve or exacerbate issues around on-street parking that affect surrounding houses and the main A644 road between Mirfield and Dewsbury.
The lavish banqueting suite, which hosts Asian weddings, was converted from the former Ravensthorpe Working Men’s Club which closed in 2010. It can cater for up to 1,400 guests. Currently it opens from noon to 4pm on weekends only.
It is now tradition that families hire expensive ‘super cars’ for wedding celebrations. Ravensthorpe is often jammed with Rolls-Royces, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and the like which cost £1,000 a day to hire.
Some residents claim the narrow entrance to the site – opposite the Blue Fish restaurant – is a bottleneck that causes slow-moving wedding traffic to back up onto the main road. They also say surrounding streets are affected by visitors’ cars and that to extend opening hours would adversely affect the local community.
Campaigner Basharat Rafiq wants the application rejected and said: “When vehicles enter the car park they can’t get in quickly enough and so create a bottleneck. Sometimes the road is blocked off to allow more cars in and that causes even more disruption.
“This venue was never right for the area. Extending opening hours will have a massive impact on response times for emergency services. The council created this problem and needs to turn this down.”
Clr Darren O’Donovan (Lab, Dewsbury West) has been called in and he said he hoped to find an amicable way forward. He advised local residents to make individual representations to the council.
A spokesman for the banqueting suite said it was granted full planning permission by Kirklees Council in 2010 and, since its opening, the business had established itself as a leading wedding venue within the region contributing to the local economy and employment opportunities.
He added: “Due to its growth it has been recognised that there have been issues surrounding car parking and opening times. This application seeks to resolve those issues with the creation of additional overflow parking and vary the opening times.
“The venue already operates at its permitted capacity. This application proposes to reduce any conflicts and, if approved, would be in the interests of neighbouring uses.”