The Dodford Inn gets planning permission to become a wedding venue - The Bromsgrove Standard

The Dodford Inn gets planning permission to become a wedding venue

Bromsgrove Editorial 4th Jul, 2023   0

PLANNING permission has been granted for The Dodford Inn to be used as a venue for weddings and other functions which the owners say will safeguard its future.

Concerns had been put submitted by Dodford with Grafton Parish Council relating to noise, in particular loud music and fireworks, along with increased traffic from guests arriving and departing.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant at Monday’s planning committee meeting, agent Mr Myatt said the current management team had a proven track record of running the pub for more than eight years. During which time there had been no formal complaints about noise or nuisance. The pub already had a licence to hold events and there were regulations and procedures in place which the owners adhered to.

But, he stressed, there were genuine concerns for its future.

He said The Dodford Inn, like many pubs and hospitality venues, had been hit hard by the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

Footfall had reduced dramatically, compared to pre-Covid levels – revenue was just 42 per cent of what it was in 2019, food and drink prices had increased 21.6 per cent in the last year alone and there had been a 350 per cent rise in energy bills.

The Dodford Inn employed 27 people before the pandemic but now had just seven members of staff.

It becoming a venue for weddings would create local jobs directly, for suppliers and for other related trades, including venue dressers, photographers, florists and registrars.

He added pubs in England and Wales were shutting at a rate of 10-per-week and this additional source of income would potentially provide a future for the pub.

With regard to a noise nuisance, he said the owners were happy to invite neighbours to the pub to meet them face-to-face to talk to them about the plans and any concerns.

‘Against the proposals’

Opposing the plans, chair of Dodford Parish Council, Coun Rachel Jennings, launched a scathing attack on the pub, the owners and the planning officers for ‘ignoring numerous concerns and objections’.

She added the authority stood by its original comments.

“The noise from the Dodford Inn permeates across the village with the valleys acting as funnels.”

She said the noise nuisance badly affecting residents and called for a condition to be placed on the application, demanding music only be allowed in the main building and when all the doors and windows were shut.

She said the use of fireworks displays and times they could take place were unspecified and added they had significant implications on animals, wildlife, farmers’ livestock, livery and the surrounding countryside.

“Traditional fireworks should be banned – it is interesting this application comes when Bromsgrove District Council itself has moved away from fireworks in favour of community-friendly light shows.

“These conditions are not excessive and whilst we the parish council wishes The Dodford Inn a viable future, it must not be to the detriment of the quality of life of Dodford residents.”

Bromsgrove District Councillor, Coun Kit Taylor, had a statement read out which said while he and the residents were broadly supportive as it could safeguard a rural business with rural jobs, the noise was a concern.

He said, while there were no formal complaints about noise, he had received emails about the issue and he called for the decision to be deferred so a full investigation could be carried out to examine the potential extent of noise the mixed-use venue would create.

The Dodford Inn already has events and music licence

The Dodford Inn currently has an events licence which allows music to be played between 12pm and 11.30pm Monday to Thursday, from 12pm to 12.30am on Friday and Saturday and between 11am and 11.30pm on Sundays. Live Music can only be played indoors and is limited to a three-piece band finishing half-an-hour before closing time.

The current proposal does not alter these agreements which, the officers said in their report, meant it was not considered reasonable to place any conditions on this permission that would conflict with the licence.

Additional comments were proposed to the application, including parking for bikes, an electric charging point and a travel plan be implemented to ensure those going to and from the venue – including staff – were travelling as sustainably as possible, in keeping with council policy.

The officers recommended the application for approval and it was voted through by the planning committee.


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