Chesterfield listed building can be turned into wedding venue despite 'regrettable' planning breaches
The owner of a listed building in Chesterfield has been given the green light to transform the property into a wedding venue.
Council planning chiefs have given permission for Dunston Hall, which has origins in the 17th Century and is a Grade II listed property, to be used as a holiday-let and for wedding ceremonies and receptions.
However, the application to alter Dunston Hall has faced criticism throughout the planning process – with Chesterfield and District Civic Society accusing Mr Harrison of breaching planning rules.
In a report, planning officers agree that some works have been carried out without the required permission.
"It is acknowledged that works have been carried out without the benefit of planning permission, and whilst regrettable this authority has a duty to determine the case in line with planning policy,” the report states.
Planning officers say creating a long-term use for the building is ‘beneficial’ and the ‘economic and heritage benefits arising from the scheme make the proposal acceptable in principle planning terms’.
In his report to the council, civic society chairman Philip Riden said he ‘very strongly’ objected to the proposals.
He said there were a host of reasons for this, ‘including the way in which it has been submitted’ and ‘late’ submission of information.
“Given the applicant’s previous conduct, we are strongly of the view that the late submission of these documents is a deliberate device on his part to make it as difficult as possible for members of the public to comment on this application,” Mr Riden added.
Mr Harrison previously told us he had gone ‘above and beyond’ to secure the correction permissions for his plans for Dunston Hall.
"Our hope here is to rent out Dunston Hall and allow people to enjoy its stunning interior and gardens once more,” he said.
"For however long people wish to rent it, and whether that be for a wedding, party of whatever, they can be lord and lady.
"It has not been seen by the public in 20 to 30 years and I think it will be wonderful.
"We are not Chatsworth, but we do hope to become a baby Chatsworth.”