RESIDENTS of Great Warford are breathing another sigh of relief after Dawn Ward’s plan for a wedding venue was rejected following appeal.
The Real Housewives of Cheshire star and her husband, former footballer Ashley Ward, had wanted to transform part of their £13.5 million home Warford Hall into a wedding venue.
Plans to transform the site, which included a new function room and overnight accommodation, were rejected by Cheshire East Council’s northern planning committee in July 2016, but Mr and Mrs Ward appealed the decision last December.
Following a further consultation period, the planning inspectorate has confirmed the development would be harmful to both the greenbelt and Warford Hall’s neighbours.
In his appeal decision Jonathan Clarke, inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “Against the proposal, I have found that it would constitute inappropriate development in the greenbelt.
“In addition, I have found that it has not been satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal would operate without causing substantial harm to the living conditions of occupiers of nearby dwellings.
“Whilst I have identified some other considerations which weigh in support of the proposal, having regard to the points which I have set out earlier these individually carry only limited or moderate weight.”
The venue would have been used for up to 100 events each year, including up to 60 weddings, with up to 130 guests at a time and accommodation for 30 guests.
During the appeal Mr Ward claimed that the venue would have ‘very little if any impact’ on the lives of neighbours, but a total of 249 comments were sent to CEC in opposition of the original plan, and villagers in the Great Warford Action Group fought against the proposal at every stage.
A spokesman for the group told the Guardian: “As you can imagine most people in Great Warford are very relieved.
“The response we have had from the village residents who supported the opposition to the original application and the appeal has been one of relief – although we’re not jubilant.
“Clearly the Wards were very much hoping to turn this into a profitable business, but the planning inspectorate’s findings were based on the adverse impact it would have had on other residents.”
The Guardian has approached Mr and Mrs Ward for comment.