Blackbrook Hall. Picture: Google Streetview
Blackbrook Hall. Picture: Google Streetview

Plans for a luxury wedding venue have finally been approved by Lichfield District Council despite concerns over noise and parking.

The Blackbrook Hall venue in Weeford applied for various extensions to form a café, restaurant and wedding venue with installation of access gates

Planning officers previously recommended that the plans be given the green light at a meeting last month, but councillors voted to defer the application to get more details on parking, the frequency of weddings taking place and to get feedback on noise conditions.

Objector Sarah Beech, who is also a parish councillor, told the committee:

“I ask you to refuse this application due to the complete lack of parking included, the total disregard for the footpath and neighbourhood agricultural access, the insufficient drainage plans for the size of the establishment and because of the totally unacceptable noise levels proposed at all hours of the night and morning.

“The plans provided are either non-existent, outdated or clearly provided in order to look viable on the surface.”

Sarah Beech

The applicant anticipates two to three wedding events per week, with a maximum capacity of 120 guests, the meeting was told.

There will also be parking on the site for up to 79 vehicles with overflow parking provided, if needed and could be delivered using permitted development rights.

Planning agent, Claire Preston said work had been carried out to overcome potential issues.

“The applicant has removed the brickwork entry piers and changed to a timber to improve visibility, removed the orangery entrance from the northern elevation to reduce any noise impacts, clarified the external music limit, actively engaged with a mechanical ventilation consultant who has provided draft guidance on the ventilation strategy in order to minimise noise transfer, and provided more detailed parking and manoeuvring layouts to demonstrate parking capacity achievable on the site.”

Claire Preston

However, councillors were still unconvinced by updates and wanted to impose stricter conditions including restricting Blackbrook Hall to a wedding venue only – which means that it could not host parties – and to improve the parking situation.

But a council officer said that conditions may not adhere to the tests required of such measures. They added:

“It [limiting the venue to weddings] raises the question of whether it’s necessary or reasonable.

“The difficulty is there are no objections from statutory authorities.”

Lichfield District Council officer

Cllr Hugh Ashton had said he was concerned about a lack of “concrete conditions” though. He told the meeting:

“I must confess, I’m even more confused than when I came into the room.

“The conditions seem to be very vague, they’re in flux, we’re not sure whether they’re legal restrictions or planning restrictions in some cases, and we have no definitive answers on noise or parking which I think seem to be major obstacles presented by the objector.”

Cllr Hugh Ashton

But after agreeing a range of conditions, including clear marking of parking spaces, the planning committee unanimously approved the application. 

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1 month ago

Very confusing. This venue is being allowed when Swinfen Hall was turned down.