Wedding venue seeks to scrap agreement to provide more parking spaces

An Asian wedding venue in Ravensthorpe wants to scrap a legal agreement with Kirklees Council to provide extra car parking spaces.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 7:00 am
The Grand Banqueting Suite, Ravensthorpe

The Grand Banqueting Suite on Huddersfield Road currently has parking for up to 900 guests.

But now, post-pandemic, the venue says that large weddings have been scaled back with families wanting fewer guests with a “more luxurious experience”.

The Grand Banqueting Suite grew out of the former Ravensthorpe Working Men's Club and a planning application was submitted in October 2016.

Permission was refused by the council’s Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee in May 2017. At the time there had been complaints about traffic problems caused by large numbers of cars arriving at the venue on the already congested A644.

Convoys of hired supercars were often seen driving up and down Huddersfield Road.

An application to extend opening hours after 4pm was refused by councillors and in April 2017 an appeal by its owners was also turned down.

No decision was formally made on the planning application until August 2021 when documents uploaded to the council’s planning portal showed that permission had been given to allow the venue to open until 11pm, an apparent U-turn by the council.

As part of the permission, venue owner Ashiq Hussain signed a legal agreement – known as a Section 106 – to provide a plot of land further down Huddersfield Road as an overflow car park.

However Mr Hussain has now submitted an application to remove the condition requiring the Section 106 agreement, saying circumstances have changed.

A letter from Acumen Designers and Architects says that at the time of the original application there was a demand for weddings with hundreds of guests.

But now the letter says: “Since the application was submitted, the market for Asian weddings has changed with the requirement for fewer guests but with an improved experience.

“The coronavirus pandemic has further contributed to a change in the market with clients wanting fewer people at weddings but with an improved and more luxurious experience with guests staying for longer.”

The letter says weddings this year and next show bookings of 250-400 people.

As there are parking bays for 99 cars and capacity for 132 cars in all – with some cars blocking others – that is sufficient for 450 guests, based on one space per five guests, and the separate car park is not needed.