On the 15th February we returned to the local Hertsmere Borough Council chambers for a three day Appeal against the refusal of our summer wedding marquee. We now await the result from the Inspector.
For well over ten years we have facilitated wedding services in the marquee, taking pressure of our small temple room and the conflict that occurs between public worship and private services. When asked to formalize the use of the marquee, an application was submitted for a two year period, allowing eleven weeks each year for weddings. The Planning Officers welcomed the application and recommended it for approval, however as on previous occasions some locals and the Councillors opposed it, claiming infringement on the Greenbelt. Thus the application was then refused by the Councillors.
The unfairness in all is that it is the only marquee in Hertsmere Green Belt to be refused and the concerns or reasoning appear to us to be unfounded. It has been proven that there is no impact of noise or traffic on the locality, and a tent can hardly be a threat to openness. This is the second appeal for the marquee, as on the previous occasion, which came after the wedding season, the inspector did not want to make a decision about a tent that had been taken down.