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Old Rectory in Mongeham submits plans to become luxury wedding venue

Plans to turn a Grade II listed former rectory site into a unique and luxury wedding venue on the outskirts of Deal have been revealed.

The Old Rectory in Mongeham Church Close in Great Mongeham is presently being used as a private dwelling and B&B.

The Old Rectory at Mongeham Church Close wants to host weddings. Picture Cyma Architects Ltd
The Old Rectory at Mongeham Church Close wants to host weddings. Picture Cyma Architects Ltd

As well as a change of use, the owner's agent Cyma Architects Ltd, have requested permission to demolish an existing brick built garden shed to the north east corner of the property's walled garden to make way for a new single storey outbuilding to house toilets.

The works include formation of new door access through garden wall and according to the applicant, there will be no changes to the design of the listed main house itself.

There will be no change to the existing 20 car parking spaces on the 3934 metre sq site and there will be continued, unaltered use of the highway and public footpath.

The venture will see marquees sited for the events.

it will create one full and one part time position and the operating hours for weddings will span 10am to 11.45pm Monday to Sunday inclusive of Bank Holidays with the playing of amplified music to stop by 11.15pm.

The Old Rectory at Mongeham Church Close wants to demolish an outbuilding to build a toilet block for guests at plush weddings in its garden where there will be a marquee if the plans are approved. Picture Cyma Architects Ltd
The Old Rectory at Mongeham Church Close wants to demolish an outbuilding to build a toilet block for guests at plush weddings in its garden where there will be a marquee if the plans are approved. Picture Cyma Architects Ltd

The planning documents say the new toilet block will be made of brick and weatherboard construction with painted timber window frames and grey fiberglass roof. It completes an investment of the garden totalling £12,000 which includes accessibility paths.

Four representations in support have been lodged on the district council's planning portal by Wednesday and there were 26 against.

Among them is Cllr Steve Manion who said the proposed change of use is "out of keeping", with the scale producing traffic and footfall "far in excess of anything the Church Close currently experiences."

He said: "I believe parking is inadequate for the numbers quoted and even a shuttle bus would be problematic."

The Rev Peter Hambrook, who officiates at weddings and funerals at the adjacent church, objects.

"Can you imagine a funeral at the same time a wedding reception was in full progress next door, for example?"

He said: "There is absolutely no way that the access to the church, which is shared with the Old Rectory, could in any way cope with the amount of traffic that would be involved.

"Can you imagine a funeral at the same time a wedding reception was in full progress next door, for example?"

Other concerns include access for disabled church users and security of the properties nearby. Many complained about anticipated noise pollution and music blaring until 11.15pm.

But writing in support Ann Keith said: "It would bring much needed funds in helping to maintain and repair the 14th century church financially through extra wedding stipend fees.

"It would also benefit other local owners of wedding or event hire throughout our community ie hotels and B&Bs photographers, catering companies just to mention a few.

St Martin's Church in Great Mongeham
St Martin's Church in Great Mongeham

"The owners are responsible and are long term residents of the village, as such I am confident they will adhere to all health and safety guidelines."

The company's business plan, dated My 28, says the business has no further means for growth and the plans allow them to diversify.

The vision is to become a leading wedding and events venue in the South East and the number one choice for individual and corporate clients in the area.

The owners say they have identified a business need in the local community and say demand for local weddings is projected to rise, boosted by the Brexit effect and Covid travel restrictions. It will create a "saturation" of local venues, they say.

The report said: "This creates an opportunity to utilise the property and grounds to meet increased demand.

"The result will in turn bring business to local accommodation and hospitality businesses."

Business offerings include: venue hire, dressing venue, bar and refreshments, corporate event rentals, catering service and accommodation.

You can comment on the application by visiting dover.gov.uk/Planning/Planning.aspx ref: 20/00589 and 20/00590

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