Planning victory for holiday centre

11:55 29 November 2012

Ward councillor Iain Chubb who said removing restrictions at Hills Farm would provide “a unique asset to benefit the local community”.

Ward councillor Iain Chubb who said removing restrictions at Hills Farm would provide “a unique asset to benefit the local community”.

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Kilmington self-catering complex wins battle to remove restricitons on the use of its recreations suite

A long-running battle to stage private functions at an East Devon holiday centre has finally been won

Stephen Littley, who runs the up-market Hills Farm self-catering complex at Kilmington, has persuded planners to lift restrictions on the use of his recreation room – the 250-seater Cranberries suite.

East Devon District Council’s development management committee last week agreed to remove a condition which limited its use solely to those staying in holiday units on the site.

It means wedding receptions and private parties can now be held there, with live and amplified music also permitted under the new ruling.

The committee decision came despite earlier concerns from some residents that it could lead to excessive noise.

Kilmington Parish Council also expressed some concerns about relaxing the original conditions.

But members were told that environmental health officers had carried out tests and were satisfied noise could be restricted to a level that would not affect any neighbours.

Extended use of the suite was also supported by local ward member Cllr Iain Chubb who said it was an opportunity to create “a unique asset to benefit the local community”.

He said: “The owners have a clear and coherent plan to provide a top class destination for holiday or business seminars in East Devon which will give a tremendous boost to the local economy and to the economic regeneration of the area. The facility also complements the holiday accommodation use at Hills Farm.

“The restrictions that have been placed on the buildings seem a bit draconian. The owner has invested a lot of money into restoring buildings and put a great deal of effort into his business to make a vibrant sustainable complex in a rural location that is sympathetic with its surroundings. He has taken stringent measures to ameliorate any emanation of noise and I would therefore support the lifting of the planning conditions or at least some variation to allow greater flexibility in the use of the centre for the benefit of the local economy.”

Mr Littley told The Herlad he was delighted finally to have won consent to extend the use of the suite for private functions.

He said he had also now obtained a licence to hold wedding ceremonies there so, with 56 beds and a hall for the reception, he can now offer a complete package for couples.

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