PATIENTS at a psychiatric hospital could be disrupted by noisy guests at a new wedding and conference venue.

Pinchington Hall is a large, newly renovated manor house in Crookham Common, just south of Thatcham. Linda Beechey-Smith has applied for a licence to play music, serve food and sell alcohol in the house.

The plans are to hold weddings, corporate functions, and small concerts in the grounds. Ms Beechey-Smith the manor house could also be used for art exhibitions, private parties, and an open air cinema.

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Ms Beechey-Smith’s application for a licence will be considered by councillors on the licensing sub-committee at West Berkshire Council, at a public meeting on May 18. 

Kate Powell, an environmental health officer at the council, raised concerns about noise complaints in a report to the licensing meeting.

Ms Powell said: “I am particularly concerned about the outdoor live and recorded music until 2.00am, as I anticipate that noise complaints will be received — as music, particularly bass frequencies, can travel some distance and will be especially intrusive in the quiet of night.”

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Her concerns were echoed by the director of the nearby Thornford Park, a secure psychiatric hospital. Jo Sherman, hospital director, wrote into the council about the plans for the manor house.

Ms Sherman said: “Thornford Park delivers care and treatment to patients with complex care needs, and an important element of this is the environment.

“Part of the therapeutic effectiveness of Thornford Park is enhanced by the surrounding countryside, which gives our patients an opportunity to access the community in a relatively safe way.

“Any increase in traffic or noise would potentially have an impact upon our patients, and it may impact upon their sleep patterns which can be a risk to their recovery from their illness.

“The presence of a public entertainment business directly opposite the hospital may also attract attention from our patients themselves which could be disruptive to the patient and quite possibly disruptive to their business.”