Farmer says cousin's wedding venue will bring 'criminal activity'
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There appears to be little love lost between a pair of cousins running competing businesses in north Norfolk, with one objecting to the other's plans to hold upmarket weddings on his property.
Gavin Paterson has applied for an alcohol license at The Woodyard, a new venue on the Worstead estate, near North Walsham.
But one of his cousins, who farms on nearby land and is also called Mr Paterson, is among three neighbours to object to the scheme.
He wrote to North Norfolk District Council, ahead of a planning meeting to discuss the matter, on Wednesday.
He said the licence would "bring criminal activity to the area" and lead to more noise.
"They are not fit to hold a licence," he said.
The familial connection was noticed by a councillor at the meeting and confirmed by Mr Paterson.
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The wedding venue is already up and running, but has been relying on short term licenses - called temporary event notices - which have to be applied for in advance of each ceremony.
Other neighbours raised concerns about traffic to and from the site using narrow country roads.
One, who lives two fields from the site, complained that trees had been cut down which could have blocked noise.
He said: “I have heard noise from the venue and it has gone on until late at night.
“We put up with that because it has only been every now and again but what’s being asked for is every weekend.
“What’s being asked for is until 12 o’clock at night. Personally, I don’t think that’s good enough where people are living and want to live a quiet life.”
The applicant, Mr Paterson, told councillors the business had abided by all the planning conditions imposed on it, with noise limiters on their equipment and no outdoor amplification.
“To date, under our temporary events notices, we have had no official or unofficial complaints of music being heard from any property around the building and there has been no amplified music played outside the venue.”
While the owner accepted some issues with traffic exiting the venue, he said new signage was being put in place and no complaints had been made after the last two weddings held there.
Councillors will consider the issue and make a decision in writing in five working days.