A plan for a major hotel development on greenfield land on the edge of a Dales market town looks set to generate further controversy after the firm behind the scheme lodged requests to serve alcohol and stage live music there until 1am every night.
Richmondshire District Council’s licensing committee will on Friday consider applications by the Inn Collection to serve alcohol for 14 hours a day at the 40-bedroom, public house and restaurant off Harmby Road, Leyburn, that it received planning permission for in October.
The North East-based firm, which was last week sold to a new company in a deal said to be worth more than £300m, has described the development as “an inn, rather than an hotel, providing unfussy but well‐appointed bedrooms and dining facilities”.
A decision notice since issued by the authority states to mitigate the impact on the amenities of residents living close to the development deliveries need to be restricted to certain hours and that an acoustic fence must be erected.
Despite the conditions, the decision infuriated some residents who had argued the inn, which is set to feature one of the largest restaurants for many miles around with 276 covers, along with a large Sam Turner’s country store, would ruin the town’s rural gateway and end the peace they had grown accustomed to.
The firm’s website states the communities around its inns are “at the heart of everything we do”, but after the firm lodged 1am licensing applications, residents responded with numerous objections, over safety and noise nuisance.
The applicant said it would amend its application to stop serving alcohol and end entertainment by 11pm if “the objectors all agree to withdraw”. An officer’s report to the licensing committee states while a couple of objectors did accept the changes, others had not.
In a letter of objection one neighbour states: “As the benchmark for noise in the evening is currently limited to wildlife, the public nuisance which will be created for ourselves, the residents of the adjacent care home, Kirkwood Hall, and other residential properties is significant. The noise from the venue itself will carry, and if visitors to the premises walk back into Leyburn there will undoubtedly be disturbance to neighbours.”
Objectors, who have called for the alcohol licence to be restricted to 10pm or even 8pm, also highlighted safety concerns following a recent fatal accident on Harmby Road at night, saying increasing foot traffic on the narrow pavement “should be of serious concern to the licensing committee”.
Another objector wrote: “This hotel is being built within a small rural town, adjacent to residential properties.
“Providing the opportunity for all day and night drinking will inevitably increase the likelihood of customers causing a public nuisance and crime and disorder in the area. The council’s job is to try to prevent this.”