Under-fire boss of hall in Newbury Park seeks permission to hold banquets

The owner of a Newbury Park hall, which has received complaints from angry residents about “excessive noise” and parking, is applying for planning permission to hold “banquets”, despite deeming the application unnecessary.

Although Netley Hall, Netley Road, does not need permission to hold private events, the owner, Shahid Hanif, is in the process of applying for a change of use for the former Royal British Legion club.

The premises, which is currently sublet by catering company Rayyans, has left residents nearby upset as large events are being held there “most weekends” resulting in “late night disturbance”.

Peter Stanway, speaking on behalf of Mr Hanif, said: “We have re-applied for the change of use to the existing building to allow banqueting for 150 people, although my client is of the opinion that because the Royal British Legion Assembly Hall was used since the 1920s for similar functions, the continued use of the building for this does not require planning permission.

“Mr Hanif is concerned that the ward councillors who are objecting to the application are the same ward councillors who will take a decision on the application [and] are acting as both judge and jury.”

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Mr Hanif, who originally applied for permission to hold events for up to 250 people, said he is happy to allow local residents to hold community events at the hall.

Member of the Perryman’s Farm Residents’ Association, John Bowers, whose property backs on to the hall, said: “We want to see the hall being used but not if nearby residents are suffering. This is in the middle of a residential area and when events were held their by the British Legion it was strictly policed.”

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A council spokesman said: “We’re currently waiting for further information before the application will be validated however, impact on parking, neighbours and opening hours would be considered.

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