Rural events venue turned down at appeal

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Plans to create a ‘destination venue’ for events at Ardonan Farm in Regaby have been refused at appeal.

Ardonan Estate Ltd applied to create a working country estate with 16 five-star tourist bed spaces, a new home from which Mr and Mrs Kerruish would live and administer the business, habitat improvements and space for marquees to be erected for events along with parking.

The plan (14/01308/B) was supported by the Department of Economic Development’s tourism division, which said the development would provide an ‘economic benefit from construction of about £2m and on-going benefits for the tourism sector and by local sourcing of food and drink’.

The whole application was originally refused, and at appeal, independent inspector Stephen Amos upheld the decision, adding two more reasons for the decision.

Now DEFA Minister Richard Ronan has allowed some aspects of the development but refused others.

Subject to a number of conditions, Self-catering tourist accommodation can be created at the ‘spud shed’ and the farmhouse can be used as tourist accommodation. A new road access can be created and works can be carried out to create or alter ponds, dubs and wetland areas.

But he refused approval for a new home to be built, which the applicant had described as ‘essential’.

And he refused the creation of a destination venue, saying it had not been established that nearby residents would be adequately protected from harm to their living conditions due to potential noise and general disturbance.

Andreas Commissioners had opposed the destination venue, saying it would be ‘out of keeping with the small, quiet hamlet’.

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