Outrage as country house in Ingoldisthorpe given go-ahead to host weddings and corporate events

Villagers have voiced their anger after councillors today gave the green light for a West Norfolk country house to host weddings, corporate and other outdoor events.

Around 30 residents packed the licensing hearing at West Norfolk council offices to hear the outcome of an application to grant a premises licence for Ingoldisthorpe Hall.

Applicant Ben Marten told the hearing the licence to sell alcohol from 9am to 2.30am Monday to Sunday along with holding events and playing music was needed to help him create a 'viable, sustainable business'.

But villagers told the councillors sitting on the licensing sub-committee they were 'terrified' the site could be used to host music festivals and that granting the licence would be 'catastrophic' for the village.

The hearing, which lasted almost eight hours, ended in disappointment for the villagers as sub-committee chairman Roy Groom announced the licence was granted.

Speaking after the hearing, villager Nick Redwood said: 'There were 248 people who said events there were causing a nuisance but they have not been listened to.'

Gerald Rager, who owns the caravan site next to Ingoldisthorpe Hall, added: 'I feel very cross because now there is a strong possibility I will lose my business.'

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He had earlier told the sub-committee that if the licence was granted the local economy, wildlife, the village and his family would suffer.

But applicant Ben Marten said: 'I think it's a fair result. I think they [the licensing sub-committee] realised I was going to be responsible and do everything in my power to create little or no disturbance.'

A 248-signature petition and 61 letters of objection had been sent to the council over the licence application for the hall, also known as Mount Amelia, in the build up to today's meeting.

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