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Venue to discover if events will be allowed

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: December 03, 2013

By Gemma Mullin

Mark Underhill, of Duvale Barton

Mark Underhill, of Duvale Barton

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A HOLIDAY venue in Mid Devon will find out next month whether it will be allowed to carry on hosting functions.

The district council's licensing committee will review the licence of Duvale Priory, Bampton, at a meeting next week.

The venue in the Exe Valley offers visitors holiday lets and hosts events such as weddings and private parties.

But people living near the site have complained that noise from events can be heard for miles and parties can often last between 24 and 48 hours.

Mark Underhill, who owns the site, said in 2010 in his licence application that the hall, with its large oak dance floor and bar, was to 'provide live and recorded music, late-night refreshment and the sale of alcohol for private parties, weddings and wedding receptions'.

In September, more than 20 households signed a petition to the district council, and following advice from councillors on how to seek a review of the licence, resident Chris Winter, of Steart, near Stoodleigh, submitted an application in October on the grounds of prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and the prevention of public nuisance.

Mr Winter said: "The attendees (resident or not) at a number of events held at Duvale Priory have resulted in the creation of a great deal of noise that has disturbed their neighbours in this previously tranquil part of the Exe Valley.

"On a number of occasions, guests from Duvale have been found walking along the A396 road in the dark.

" This is a safety concern for users of this road and for the safety of the guests themselves."

Mr Winter included other examples in his application including the fact that wedding guests were seen swimming in the River Exe and trespassing on land.

However, the council says the information is irrelevant in reviewing the licence and that the matters should be dealt with separately.

Mr Underhill was recently refused planning consent to change the site's usage to a function hall on the grounds that it would need to comply with particular hours of operation.

An officer from the planning department and from environmental health will be at the December 10 hearing.

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