A manor house has been given the right to hold weddings despite plans being slammed by locals.
Gileston Manor, near St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, has been given permission to use part of its grounds as a venue for weddings and conferences for up to 100 daytime guests and 180 evening guests.
The Grade II-listed manor was given the right to hold up to 50 events a year after planning permission was granted by Vale of Glamorgan Council.
That’s despite a petition signed by 54 people opposing the plans due to concerns over noise, traffic congestion, safety of residents and antisocial behaviour.
Around 100 people wrote to the council about the application – with the vast majority opposing it.
Gileston residents told a planning committee on October 23 that events had taken place at the manor this summer despite having no planning permission.
Gileston Manor has been listed as a wedding venue on the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s website of “approved premises” and its own website is currently advertising wedding prices up to 2022.
Reverend Lance Clark told the committee that residents are disappointed by “the lack of support, respect and consideration shown by the applicant and the Vale of Glamorgan Council”.
He said: “We derive no pleasure from being put in this position and indeed have experienced much anguish and disruption to our daily lives since this application first became known to residents in April 2018.
“This application will only benefit the applicant commercially but will do nothing for this community. It will allow them to restore and enjoy their home not a village amenity.”
Johanne Stacey-Davies told the committee residents have had to call police and send complaints to the council after being “impacted by noise on most weekends”.
“Residents start to dread the weekend, when on a Friday night or Saturday morning we start to see the increase in cars coming through the village with guests trying to find Gileston Manor,” she told the committee.
“The traffic noise increases when the event finishes and guests depart through the village into the early hours.
“Certain Gileston residents can clearly hear the speeches, songs, screaming, shouting, clapping and general noise from the events.
“One of our elderly residents was recently forced into the hedge four times by wedding traffic, due to the narrow lanes.”But a council report claimed the wedding venue operation to date has not resulted in a “significant change to the character of the area” and the development “is considered acceptable in relation to noise disturbance from the playing of music, speeches and potential antisocial behaviours that might occur”.
It says the marquee where the events are being held is “relatively divorced” from neighbouring properties, and a sound report submitted as part of the application has outlined a “zonal array system” would be installed to control the noise within a defined area.
“The council’s observations to date support the findings of the report and it has been concluded that the playing of music at the site via the array system has not caused any significant noise disturbance on these occasions,” the report says.
Geraint John, on behalf of Gileston Manor, said the applicant had gone to “significant length and expense” with the sound equipment.He told the planning committee the events would raise money for the restoration of Gileston Manor and create “substantial benefits to the local economy”.
Matt Discombe covers Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan as part of the BBC's Local Democracy Reporter project, which is aimed at enhancing reporting from local authorities across the UK.