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You are here: Home / Latest News

Press Release

2 November 2023

Owners of Medieval Barn Guilty of Breaching Planning Conditions

Fareham Borough Council has successfully prosecuted the owners of The Great Barn at Titchfield, Titchfield Festival Theatre Limited, for persistent abuse of planning conditions. The Company pled guilty to nine criminal charges.

The prosecution was brought by the Council because the theatre company breached the number of wedding events it is permitted to host in any one calendar year at the barn and ignored a breach of condition notice issued as a result. The planning permission in place allows for fourteen wedding events each year and, following an investigation, the Council found evidence that this number had been exceeded by some margin during 2022. 

At a Court hearing held on 7 September 2023 in the East Hampshire Magistrates Court, Titchfield Festival Theatre Limited pleaded guilty to a total of nine separate criminal offences where unauthorised wedding events were held. The guilty pleas were accepted by the Court, and the case was subsequently adjourned to the Crown Court for sentencing.

The courts will now also consider confiscation of any profits Titchfield Festival Theatre Limited have benefitted from as a result of the unauthorised weddings, (something that is provided for under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002).  

Cllr Nick Walker, Chairman of the Council’s Planning Committee, said:

"I am pleased with the outcome of this Court Case.  Planning conditions are put in place for good reason and the Council will pursue those who do not comply with them."

The sentencing will be confirmed on the Council’s website following the next Court hearing on 5 April 2024.


ENDS


Notes to Editor:

The Great Barn at Titchfield is a Grade I Listed building.  It is a medieval monastic timber-framed barn dating back to the early 15th century.  It lies within the Titchfield Abbey Conservation Area, part of the Meon Valley which has considerable architectural and historic interest, and which provides a setting for a number of important scheduled ancient monuments and listed buildings, most notably those associated with Titchfield Abbey itself.

Planning permission was previously granted by the Council for the use of the barn for various purposes.  A planning condition imposed on the permission restricts the use of the barn to no more than 14 wedding events in any one calendar year.  The condition was imposed to protect the living conditions of the occupiers of nearby residential properties and also in the interests of the character of the Titchfield Abbey Conservation Area.

For further information contact:

Customer Enquiries

Tel: 01329 236100
Email: customerservicecentre@fareham.gov.uk

Media Enquiries

The Communications Team
Tel: 01329 824310
Email: publicity@fareham.gov.uk
Fax: 01329 550576

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