Tring woodland becomes the county's latest licensed premises

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The area will be turned into a wedding and live music venue

Councillors have agreed to turn an area of woodland on the edge of Tring into a ‘licensed’ premises, following a request from a wedding events company.

Woodland Weddings have been offering outdoor wedding receptions at Lila’s Wood, Hastoe, since 2016 – with each event individually licensed with a ‘temporary event notice’ (TEN).

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Earlier this year the company applied to license the area – asking for permission to serve alcohol in the area on Saturdays or the nearest Bank Holiday, between the hours of midday and midnight.

Councillorshave agreed to turn an area of woodland on the edge of Tring into a licensed premises (C) Google MapsCouncillorshave agreed to turn an area of woodland on the edge of Tring into a licensed premises (C) Google Maps
Councillorshave agreed to turn an area of woodland on the edge of Tring into a licensed premises (C) Google Maps

Councillors considered the application at a recent meeting of Dacorum Council’s licensing of alcohol and gambling sub-committee (16 June).

And now – despite objections from a number of local residents – they’ve decided to grant the request.

According to the report to the sub-committee, the company will use the area as a wedding venue for ceremonies and receptions.

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Live and recorded music may be played and late-night refreshment served until 11pm – those this does not need licensing approval.

And guests will be allowed to camp in the woods after the event until noon the next day.

A permanent licence will avoid the need to apply for individual TENs. And it is understood it will enable those weddings that have had to be postponed because of ‘lockdown’ to be rescheduled later in the year.

According to the report considered by the sub-committee, seven residents had objected to the application, as well as the Trustees of Hastoe Village Hall and Tring Town Council.

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Those complaints focussed on public nuisance and noise that residents claimed had come from the venue in the past.

One resident wrote that the venue does “considerable harm to the tranquillity of the immediate area through the generation of noise” – and claimed they had suffered from disturbance ‘almost every Saturday night’ during the summer.

Another highlighted the nuisance caused by taxis seeking to pick up guests late at night and entering residents’ driveways.

And another suggested: “Permitting such a development within AONB will set a precedent to other developments in these areas – impacting on the overall enjoyment for everyone in the longer term.”

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The Trustees of Hastoe Hall say they limit the number of weddings – or similar events – at their own venue to five, in order to limit the impact of the hall.

And in their objection, they stated: “Hastoe Village Hall provides a wide range of opportunities for local residents consistent with its rural location.

“If Woodland Weddings continues to operate in the neighbourhood it will adversely affect the role of the Hall as a community facility as well as having a detrimental impact on Hastoe and its immediate surroundings.”

In a written response to a resident’s concerns – included in the committee reports – Faye Messenger pointed to their own noise restrictions and limits on the PA system.

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And she said bands were limited to two or three sets totalling around two hours in length.

She said there had been no more than three events a month at the private two-acre site, which is segregated from the remaining woodland to avoid intrusion.

And she said she regularly visited local properties to monitor sound levels.

According to the application, a car park attendant at the venue liaises with taxis, mini buses and coaches and controls the departure of guests after 9pm.

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In accordance with the licence, the venue will be allowed to open between midday and midnight on Saturdays or the nearest Bank Holiday, during which time alcohol can be served. The maximum number of guests will be limited to 200.

An appeal against the decision of the sub-committee can be made within 21 days.

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