Blue Bell to carry on holiday venue for groups of 50 people

The Blue Bell in Burton Agnes
The Blue Bell in Burton Agnes

A ‘rowdy’ village hotel is to continue as a ‘large-scale’ party venue after councillors approved plans to turn it into holiday accommodation, despite residents’ strong objections.

An application to change The Blue Bell Inn in Burton Agnes from a hotel into a holiday application was approved by East Riding Council’s eastern area planning committee on Tuesday.

This was despite revelations that the former pub had been operating in breach of planning laws for more than a year, after trading as holiday accommodation while only having permission to operate as a hotel.

In a planning report to councillors, Burton Agnes Parish Council had listed its strong objections to the proposed change of use for the site, while detailing its disappointment at the historic loss of a village pub and restaurant for residents.

It said: “The scale and sector of this operation is a considerable step chance from the pub and hotel business which operated previously and in our view is incompatible with the centre of a small residential village.”

The parish council added that the police, fire brigade and emergency services have all previously attended the venue, due to what is described as “late night noise, rowdiness and other anti-social behaviour.”

The Blue Bell Inn is marketed on a number of holiday websites as having sleeping accommodation for large-scale groups of up to 50 people at a time.

However, the applicant Mark Saunders stated in the meeting that the business venture offers a positive and economically long-term use of the buildings, without changing the dynamics of the site.

He said: “It is readily accessible, low-cost and [has] enabled people to come to the area. More than 90 per cent of our clients are families getting together. It is that simple, it is usually a birthday and we think that is a beneficial thing.

“We will have some issues with noise, I can’t say we won’t, I will say we have had three recognised complaints, but in the grand scheme of things, the positives are that [it is] let 48 weeks of the year, largely during weekends, not during the week.”

Councillors on the committee agreed to approve the application by a margin of six votes to one.

Jack Muscutt , Local Democracy Reporting Service