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Pinchington Hall to dispel community concerns in open day

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Pinchington Hall in Crookham is hosting an open day in an attempt to dispel negative feedback that has accumulated in recent months.

The property, taken on by Pheonix Lettings in February 2020, has been subject to concerns that situating a wedding venue in this area will create a hub for “amplified music and generally rowdy behaviour”.

However the property company says that the building was taken on with the intention of using it for a variety of purposes, such as corporate events, yoga retreats, wine tasting and art clubs, among others.

Pinchington Hall (51279221)
Pinchington Hall (51279221)

Pheonix Apartments director Linda Beechey-Smith said: “We felt it was a property that would be of benefit to people in Newbury, Thatcham and surrounds as it is a very unique building.

“Pinchington Hall is beautifully restored and has been a part of Newbury and Thatcham’s history for several hundred years with many incarnations, some good and some less so.”

Ms Beechey-Smith faced complaints, a noise abatement notice and a hearing which ultimately led to the removal of the hall's premises licence – which she said she had never operated.

She continued: “We have faced much negative opposition from the residents – much of which was incorrect – in the area who feel the property should only remain a private dwelling.

“They have involved several agencies such as environmental health, licensing and local councillors in their opposition to the project which has resulted in the removal of our premises licence, which to date had never operated, and we have been served with a noise abatement for a single event for which the licence was granted privately to the hirers.”

Ms Beechey-Smith went on to note the impact that the recent pandemic restrictions had on the hospitality industry which added to the pressures following the concerned comments from those living nearby.

She said: “The initial opposition was from the developer of the neighbouring development, however subsequent to selling the properties he seems to have passed the mantle to the current residents.

“The lack of support from councillors and others has been very surprising considering the effect Covid has had on hospitality, not least in the Newbury and surrounding area, and a property like this could bring employment and use of local suppliers and providers."

She added: “You would think now is the time for all ventures that could increase footfall to the area to be encouraged.”

However, she also commented on the positive responses received from guests and hirers of the hall from across the country, with some calling the building “beautiful, comfortable and well thought-out”.

Ms Beechey-Smith hopes that the open day will “go a long way” in changing public opinion of the premises.

The open day is to take place in early April with an exact date yet to be set.

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