Venue to offer weekday wedding guests extra hour of celebration

Bruisyard Hall

Bruisyard Hall - Credit: Archant

Weekday wedding guests will be able to celebrate past midnight at a stately Suffolk venue after owners won the right to extend opening hours on certain occasions during the year.

Bruisyard Hall, between Framlingham and Saxmundham, already had permission to keep its function room open until 12.30am on Fridays and Saturdays, but bosses wanted the same freedom for up to 24 weekday events annually.

The application went before Suffolk Coastal planners after eight local residents raised concerns about noise, but the council agreed there were sufficient licensing controls in place to ensure that noise from the venue, or from departing guests, did not become a nuisance.

One objector said: “Late opening into weekdays would impinge upon the working lives of local people and the school week, affecting schoolchildren and students.”

But the bid also received two letters of support and was voted on favourably by the parish council.

Paul Rous, general manager of Bruisyard Hall, which also accommodates up to 24 wedding guests, said the application was made following a number of requests to extend opening hours, including an appeal from a local resident whose daughter’s reception took place at the venue in the last year.

“We have tried to be careful to limit the number of events and are trying to run a business that is sensitive not only to local people but also to the development and heritage of the site,” he added.

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Two years ago, owners wanted to extend hours to 12.30am on any day of the week – a request that sparked 50 letters of objection from local residents, as well as concerns from environmental protection officers, resulting in an amended submission to close at 11.30pm on weekdays.

The level of tension in the village reached such a height that anonymous letters were posted through doors and graffiti was scrawled at the entrance of Bruisyard Hall.

One letter of objection to the latest application read: “Where is the line? The applicant will continue to chip away at the times until he gets what he originally asked for.”

Freedom to keep the function room open until 12.30am on weekdays will be limited to 24 occasions a year, but no more than twice in the same month, meaning some may be permitted as one-off licensable functions by way of a temporary event notice. Weekday revellers will otherwise have to finish celebrating by 11.30pm.

The venue is also permitted to stay open at weekends until 1.30am on 10 occasions a year – but only on Saturday or Friday, or on New Year’s Eve. Licensable activity should stop half-an-hour before closure and notice must be given of when weekday events will close after midnight.

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