PROPOSALS to change the use of a Grade II-listed hall on the outskirts of Leek to accommodate weddings and other family events has been recommended for approval.
A planning application has been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council for the change of use from residential to a mixed use of residential, wedding venue and family events including christenings and birthday parties at Dunwood Hall, Longsdon.
The proposal will now go before members of the district authority's planning applications committee for a final decision tomorrow, Thursday.
In a report to councillors, planning officer Wayne Johnson said: "The applicant has adequately demonstrated that the historic architectural significance will not be compromised by the development and it will generate some funds for the upkeep of the hall.
"It is not envisaged that the proposed number of visitors or events is likely to detrimentally impact on the fabric of the building.
"In addition, the impact on the wider visual amenities in the locality will be limited and it is acknowledged that the provision of an associated car park to the south of the hall on the former riding arena will be seen from the A53.
"However, this will be for a limited number of days during the year and the car park will not require any additional construction work as the existing surface has been constructed using pottery waste some time ago, which is free draining and has since been allowed to grass over.
In a planning statement to the ouncil, chartered town planner Michael Sutcliffe, said: "The property was purchased by the applicant's grandparents in 1963 and has been the venue for many social and charitable events.
"In the last decade the applicant's late mother ran a small business, hosting among other things wedding receptions, birthday parties and wine tasting.
"These numbered less than 12 events a year, with the use as the family home being first and foremost; something the family wish to maintain.
"It is, however, a reality that the current family owners, three generations, have inherited a property with a weighty backlog of repair and maintenance.
"It is intended that this additional income stream will help fund the necessary repair and upkeep of this important Grade II-listed property.
"No operational development is required or proposed and no alterations or demolitions are required to the listed buildings and their setting."
It is proposed that the non-residential events would number no more than 28 a year, with a maximum number of guests no greater than 120.
The new use would be confined to the ground floo r reception rooms with no access to the upper floors and no overnight accommodation.