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Plans for new tipis at wedding venue Haybales Farm in Exton turned down by Rutland County Council

Plans for wedding tipis in the countryside have been refused by a council - despite letters of support from residents.

William Scott, director of Haybales Farm, wants to use agricultural land in Exton for three tipis for wedding receptions from March to October.

“This venture aims to provide a picturesque and unconventional setting for wedding ceremonies, receptions, and related events, fostering a memorable experience for couples and their guest,” the applicant told Rutland County Council in a planning application which was submitted in May.

The tipis. Photo: Haybales Farm / Rutland County Council
The tipis. Photo: Haybales Farm / Rutland County Council

He added: “The farm is continuously seeking opportunities to diversify its operations in ways that align with the rural landscape and the needs of our community.

“The proposed addition of the tipis is aimed at expanding the farm's offering to host wedding receptions amidst the natural beauty and tranquillity of Rutland.”

At the Rutland-based farm there are currently four giant tipis and a bar tent, which provide seated space for up to 120 people. Haybales Farm also offers tipi hire.

A number of comments of support for the three new tipis were submitted to the council from neighbours and wedding suppliers in the area.

Sarah Lever said: “The proposals are sensitive to the beautiful rural landscape and enable more people to enjoy this beautiful county.

“No doubt nearby Oakham will also benefit from wedding guests staying in the area.”

Photographer Gina Fernandes added: “This proposal will create jobs, support small businesses, and ensure a steady revenue flow for our community.

“Approving this proposal means investing in the growth and success of our local enterprises.”

Concerns were lodged about how much noise there would be and when the events would finish.

Planning officers also had worries and turned down the plans, describing it as an unsustainable location and saying there is not an essential need for it to be located in the countryside.

They added that a convincing case was not made relating to noise and disturbance.

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