Boughton Estates requests changes to its licensing arrangements
Many of you will have seen the blue notices around our village and other villages bordering the Boughton estate. They indicate a request to Kettering Borough Council for a change to the licensing permissions for the estate grounds.
Mark Rowley of the Parish Council explained that they “were contacted by Boughton House to explain their reasons for the application, basically so they could better control the use of the license. At present organisations using the Estate are applying for a single license each time…..we were given notice of this after the agenda for the February Parish Council meeting had been issued, so could not be added for any decision to be made. After a discussion, the Parish Council decided that there was no reason for a special meeting ………as it is known that Boughton House are doing everything in their power to limit the effects of traffic and noise on the surrounding villages.” The Parish Council therefore wrote to Boughton Estates in the following terms:
“The Parish Council were of the opinion that the Estate are applying for an extended license for the right reasons and that overall the Parish Council would be happy with the extended license provided it has minimal impact on traffic through the village.”
Chris Sparrow, Estate Manager at Boughton House, is the applicant and a number of concerned residents, not satisfied with the Parish Council response, arranged to meet and discuss what the Estate hoped to achieve and to ensure that disruption to village life was kept to a minimum. All were keen to focus on residents’ safety, particularly children and historic buildings.
The concerns raised were: the number of major events would increase; traffic management would not be sufficiently robust; late night events would be disruptive and an increase in heavy vehicles would contribute to current problems and threaten the Eleanor Cross.
Being aware of village traffic congestion Chris outlined the following strategy:
* ‘No access to event’ signs will be placed at the top of West Street prior to the start of any event. All brown signage to Boughton House will be covered.
* The estate entrance off Grafton Road, Geddington will be closed and inaccessible to event traffic.
* Traffic Management Plans will be shared with residents at the same time as the relevant authority to allow time for comment.
* Chris, as representative of Boughton House and licensee, would have full responsibility for event management.
* The only key events to use West Street/Grafton Road would be those for classic cars.
* All heavy goods vehicles and event traffic would use the Warkton Lane entrances/exits.
Chris confirmed that many events will be too small to necessitate a Traffic Management Plan (2-300 people) and in these cases the preferred route in and out will be via Grafton Rd., sending traffic through either Grafton or Geddington.
Residents felt that the licence application hours till 4am was likely to facilitate a greater number of events leading to significant vehicle numbers passing through the village at specific times and late at night. Chris agreed that it would cause fewer disturbances if the Porter’s Lodge route to the A43 could be used for smaller event traffic, as this would cause no late night disturbance to any village. It was also agreed that the Boughton House website and SatNav directions should remove West Street/Grafton Road as an appropriate route for events.
Geddington.net has been advised that as a result of this meeting the Parish Council is considering whether to submit further representations in line with residents concerns to the licensing committee meeting to be held on 25th March, the outcome of which is eagerly awaited.