Weddings in jeopardy as noise row threatens event

SCHOOLROOMS BUTCHERY-DELI-CAFE  John Woodhouse and Rachel Hague at the converted schoolroom that they are turning into a farm shop and cafe at Low Bradfield.     21 April 2011

SCHOOLROOMS BUTCHERY-DELI-CAFE John Woodhouse and Rachel Hague at the converted schoolroom that they are turning into a farm shop and cafe at Low Bradfield. 21 April 2011

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A row has broken out between the owners of a Sheffield wedding venue and the council - which is objecting to plans for an upcoming event because of ‘excessive amounts of noise’ from previous parties.

Foxholes Farm, at Low Bradfield, has applied for permission to put up a marquee outside a barn in which it wants to offer a live band and bar for a wedding in September.

But Sheffield Council’s environmental protection service has objected to the licensing application, saying noise monitoring during an earlier function found music was ‘clearly audible’ more than half a mile away.

In a letter to the council, John Woodhouse and Rachel Hague, who run Foxholes Farm Weddings Limited as well as the neighbouring Schoolrooms restaurant, say they feel they are being targeted.

“We increasingly feel that we are becoming the victims of a vendetta by a small number of local residents, all of whom are complaining in an attempt to destroy this vitally-needed rural business,” said the couple.

The pair said they monitored noise themselves on April 20 and May 4, and were ‘satisfied’ with levels. “We are currently trialling movement of speakers to achieve the best possible results,” they added.

Commenting on the letter, environmental protection officer Neal Pates said: “There is a fundamental failure on the part of the applicant to appreciate the standards of noise control required for these events.”

But he said an agreement could be reached if there was ‘no amplified sound from the marquee above background level’. The matter goes before the council’s licensing sub-committee next Tuesday.