Decision is taken on whether Sneaton Castle near Whitby can be used as a hotel, restaurant and wedding venue

The new owners of a former priory in Whitby have been granted a premises licence to run it as a hotel, restaurant and wedding venue.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 5:36 pm

John Morley and Ashley Lyth applied to Scarborough Council for the licence for the Sneaton Castle Centre in Castle Road which will allow them to sell alcohol until 1am and also give the green light for live music and other events to be held on the site.

Scarborough Council’s licensing sub-committee met on Friday after more than 20 residents objected to the proposals, mainly on the grounds of possible noise and disturbance.

Following a weekend of deliberations, the sub-committee today announced that it was granting the licence.

The councillors heard on Friday that the Morley family, who own the nearby Stables at Cross Butts, purchased the former priory from the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete who approached the family as they wanted the site to remain in local hands.

Neighbours objected to the application, fearing noise and music held from marquees on the grounds would cause them disturbance.

Richard Arnot, solicitor for the Morley family, told the committee that specialist sound equipment would be used that would combat and noise and disruption to local residents.

He added: “You have a well-meaning, local applicant, somebody who is part of the community and has absolutely no intention of upsetting anybody and wants a sustainable business that will be in the family for years to come.

“The only way to do that is to be responsible and to respect the community.”

The applicant agreed not to have any live or recorded music on the grounds at the front of the property to mitigate some of the residents’ worries. A strict events management plan will also be put in place and neighbours will be given a phone number for the site to reach the owners if they have any issues when an event is ongoing.

In granting the licence today, the sub-committee also restricted licensable activities at the front of the venue until 11.30pm.

Many of the objectors said that they wished the Morley family success but wanted to ensure they could live in peace in their homes.

Whitby Mayfield Ward Cllr David Chance spoke on behalf of some of the residents last week.

He said: “The site is completely surrounded by housing and I do worry about noise breakout, I am not an inexperienced person in the subject, I ran the Cambridge Folk Festival for a number of years.”

Other residents said they could hear noise from events at Cross Butts, which is further from their homes than Sneaton Castle, and worried it would only be louder if the licence was granted.

Following a five-hour-long hearing on Friday, the councillors decided to defer the decision to allow them to study the application in detail over the weekend.

In giving the decision today, committee chairman Cllr Roxanne Murphy said they were “satisfied” that with the conditions imposed the licensing objective of protecting the public from nuisance could be met.