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Wedding venue to offer shepherd huts and tipis to tackle covid backlog

PUBLISHED: 06:00 06 October 2020

More couples will be able to tie the knot at an open air wedding venue in Norfolk next year Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More couples will be able to tie the knot at an open air wedding venue in Norfolk next year Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

An outdoor wedding venue in the heart of the Norfolk countryside is set to offer more couples the chance to tie the knot, after plans to expand the site were agreed.

Northwold Parish Council objected on the grounds of highways safety. Photo: Sonya DuncanNorthwold Parish Council objected on the grounds of highways safety. Photo: Sonya Duncan

Open air venue Wellington Lodge Farm, in Northwold, applied to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council (KLWNBC) for permission to install tipis, tents and shepherd’s huts at the site.

And the plans, which included a change of use for the venue, near Thetford, as well as mobile toilets and car parking, were approved by councillors at a planning meeting this morning (Monday, October 5).

READ MORE: Tipis, tents and shepherd’s huts set for go-ahead at open air wedding venue

Councillors unanimously voted to approve the plans - despite concerns about road safety and fatalities due to increased traffic.

Speaking at the meeting, council planning officer Hannah Wood-Handy told the committee the farm on Thetford Road was an “existing farm diversification business” which currently hosted around ten weddings per year and wished to “expand their offer” from between April to September.

But Northwold Parish Council objected to the plans over access to the A134, and said: “This will increase the traffic flow to a junction with restricted vision.

“This could cause or generate the possibility of accidents.”

READ MORE: Number of marriages plummet at Tudor venue because of Covid

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And Alun Ryves, Independent councillor for Methwold, said: “A month ago there was another fatality where a cyclist was killed.

“As councillors we have a duty - these roads are seriously not safe.

“We should concern ourselves with very significant highways issues. This affects communities and they have been campaigning to be taken seriously.”

Ms Woody-Handy said: “It is recommended for approval - the parish council’s comments are contrary to recommendations.”

Mike Lloyd, speaking on behalf of the family who operate and own the venue, said: “Wellington Lodge Farm specialises in low-impact, pet-friendly and family-friendly weddings. Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, it had established an enviable reputation and a full diary.”

READ MORE: ‘We have been forgotten’ - Wedding venues react to new coronavirus measures

He added: “To meet the growing demand for the venue and to accommodate weddings cancelled as a result of the pandemic.”

Weddings host 80 to 100 guests on average which last from early afternoon until around midnight.

Conservative councillor Sam Sandell said: “This is a fantastic business opportunity. The plan is excellent. I don’t personally think highways is a massive issue.”

The committee unanimously agreed to approve the proposals.

READ MORE: Couple ditch dream wedding for small-scale event - with personalised face masks


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