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Opposition mounts over Wickford manor house party plan
PROTESTS against a woman’s plan to turn her 16th century manor house into an official party venue are getting louder.
Neighbours have written to Basildon Council to complain of noisy parties being held at Nevendon Manor in Borwick Lane, Wickford, and are pleading with officials not to licence the property as a party venue.
The property’s tenant Jane Aprile-Smith has gained a reputation for putting on extravagant parties, including her famed Halloween parties, since moving into the property in 2009.
However, neighbours hope to stop plans for an alcohol licence and other permissions so weddings and other functions for up to 200 guests can be held there.
Ms Aprile-Smith insists the licences are to mainly run children’s fairy themed events.
But in a letter to the council, David Curry, from St Marys Road, said: “Noise levels during these events, witnessed at various parties that have already taken place, have been quite horrendous and seemingly without any supervision or time schedule. Loud music has kept my family awake to the early hours of the morning on more than one occasion.”
Gwen Moss, whose home backs on to the property, wrote: “My (late) husband was very ill last year and had no option but to endure the late-night music, noise of revellers, people coming and going and cars starting up.
“I believe our lives would be turned upside down, with no respite, should a licence to sell alcohol be granted.”
John Gregory, from Borwick Lane, listed several events that took place last year and questioned if planning permission was needed.
He complained to Ms Aprile-Smith about a TK Maxx corporate function bellowing music until 1.15am last summer after the guests fired up a karaoke machine in the early hours.
In response Ms Aprile-Smith said: “Ninety nine per cent of what people have said is exaggerated. They are making out there have been events into the early hours with hundreds of people. The TK Maxx meeting was just 10 people. They seem to be working together on this to try to win over the council, but it is unfair. I am being victimised because I am trying to start a business.”
The licence application will be decided at a meeting in the Basildon Centre on Tuesday.