TATTON Estate is seeking to extend the use of Stock Farm in Ashley as a wedding venue until 2025.

Planning permission was granted in October 2017 for a change of use of the premises to a wedding, conference, events and leisure venue.

Approval for the change was granted for a temporary period of five years, until October 2022.

Tatton Estate is seeking approval from Cheshire East Council to vary a condition of the approval to extend the change of use until August 2025.

A report with the application by Pegasus Group said Tatton Estate had operated a successful wedding venue business at the farm since the planning permission was granted.

Knutsford Guardian:

“A number of wedding events have taken place in recent years, and demand for the venue has been sustained and is growing,” said Kerry Walker from Pegasus.

“Due to the fact that the business has been so successful and in order to apply for funding grant, the Tatton Estate is seeking to extend the use of the site beyond the existing period of five years, which is due to expire in October 2022.”

The estate is also seeking to extend beyond that date because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Due to the restrictions in place on weddings and large gatherings due to the pandemic, a number of weddings have been cancelled this year at Stock Farm,” added Kerry.

“A number of these have had to be postponed, and Stock Farm, similar to other wedding venues, take bookings very early on.

“These are commonly a year ahead, and it is not uncommon for two years ahead.

“Under normal circumstances therefore we would be approaching a period in 2020 where the 2022 calendar might already start to be filling up.

“However due to the impact of Covid-19 there is likely to be a knock-on effect where people will have to book another year later than originally expected, because bookings have already filled up for next year due to cancellations.

“There will therefore be latent demand for bookings at a later date than originally anticipated.”

The current five-year period was stipulated to ensure the wedding venue did not conflict with plans for HS2 in the area.

Kerry added that it was anticipated that construction on Phase 2b would begin in 2024/25, and further delays were likely because of the unforeseen impact of the pandemic.