A LONG-running Kirklees licensing saga is over after councillors granted permission for a new wedding venue in Honley.
Essam Abdelfatah secured approval for a premises licence for a marqueein the grounds of his Northgate Mount home, off Huddersfield Road.
The application has rumbled on since November 2011 and it’s likely to continue a while longer. Despite Mr Abdelfatah being granted a premises licence he is yet to apply for planning permission for a marquee.
Yesterday around 50 people packed Huddersfield Town Hall’s Council Chamber for the licence hearing, which lasted almost six hours.
John Coen, solicitor for Mr Abdelfatah, said the Licensing Panel needed to determine the application based onfour objectives – prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, protection of children and public nuisance.
He said only public nuisance was a valid consideration and Mr Abdelfatah had taken steps in securing a sound system which made most music inaudible to neighbours.
Around 45 Honley residents complained about a lack of information.
The headteacher of Honley High School also questioned whether it would impact on school activities.
Graham Crowther asked the Licensing Panel: “Are you considering a premises licence or a personal licence? If it’s a premises licence where are the details of the premises?
“All we know is that there’s a marquee, we don’t know anything more about it.”
Tanya Forret, solicitor for Richard and Alison Marshall, neighbours of the Abdelfatahs, added: “Until today we didn’t know there was to be a car park for 80 spaces on the property.”
After complaints a map detailing the location of the proposed marquee, car parking provision and toilet provision was produced.
The Abdelfatah family plan to host weddings, corporate functions and private parties at Northgate Mount.
They plan to host 20 to 25 weddings a year, bringing in between £20,000 to £30,000 each and with the capacity for 200 guests and around 20 corporate functions, bringing in between £3,000 and £5,000 each.
Mr Coen said they would be “upmarket weddings”, but Clr Jim Dodds said that was no guarantee of good behaviour.
Neighbours say noise from the events was their major concern.
Ms Forret added: “There is nothing between this property and the Marshall premises except shrubs.
“This is in green belt land, it will affect the neighbours and as it’s sited on a hill site, seemingly in the middle of a forest. Music and noise from the 200 guests will travel.
“The Marshall family, like all the objectors, have a right to privacy in their home and that should be taken into account.”
Environmental Health raised no objections, but admitted there would an increase in noise coming from the property.
Concerns were also raised about the scale of the proposed marquee, lighting, access to the grounds, toilet provision, location of a smoking shelter and logistics of 200 people arriving and leaving a residential site.
Clr Jim Dodds told the objectors the issues were planning concerns.
Mr Stephen Baggott, another neighbour, said: “How can you tell if this is a suitable and safe premises for a licence when there are scant details?”
Conditions were put in place, which restricts music, recorded or live, beyond midnight on Friday and Saturday nights and alcohol can only be sold until midnight.