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Villagers up in arms over councillor’s barn venue
11:00am Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
PLANS by a district councillor to convert part of his large estate near Bidford into a wedding venue have left residents up in arms.
Stratford district councillor Robert Vaudry has applied for permission to convert the barn at his Grade II listed home in Dorsington into a wedding, conference and function venue as well as create a new car parking area from land currently used for agriculture.
The proposals are amendments to a previous application approved in 2008 which include extensive renovations to the property and conversion of the barn into extra living accommodation.
Coun Vaudry, who moved into the house five years ago, has now decided to use the barn as a wedding venue and just before Christmas applied to amend his plans.
Parts of the property date back to the Middle Ages and the complex is surrounded by the remains of a moat thought to date back to the 16th century.
Angry residents opposing the plans called a meeting on Sunday morning and have now formed an action group.
Ray Perry, who has lived in the village for 15 years and was at the meeting, said 80 per cent of villagers opposed the plans. He said: “If this change of use is allowed it will destroy the nature of our village forever. I don’t think it [opposition] could be stronger. There wasn’t even any consultation by anyone before putting the application in. It has upset a lot of people.”
Work being carried out at the site has now been stopped following concerns for bats and newts.
Stratford District Council said it had issued a temporary stop notice on Monday.
It said: “The notice, which is valid for 28 days, prohibits the carrying out of various works including alterations and extensions, as the ecological conditions for the protection of bats and great crested newts have not been satisfied.
“Works on site have ceased in accordance with the requirements of the notice, and the owners of the property, Mr and Mrs Vaudry, have engaged an ecologist to oversee the works, and ensure compliance with the conditions.”
Coun Vaudry was not available to comment.