A PUB'S events marquee on greenbelt land could "jeopardise" future archaeological works on a 17th-century battlefield - according to a national heritage charity.

The owners of the 6 Acres pub in Drighlington had submitted retrospective plans to retain large marquees, which had been constructed on land behind the pub's car park without planning permission.

Bradford Council has now refused this application after objections from groups including Historic England and the Battlefields Trust.

Planning officers say the marquees are an inappropriate development on greenbelt land and harms the "special heritage" of the important battlefield site.

The applicants have said they will appeal the decision.

Retrospective plans for wedding venue at historic battlefield submitted to Bradford Council

The Westgate Hill Street pub overlooks the Adwalton Moor historic battlefield - the site of a key Civil War battle in June 1643 which has been described as the second most important historic battlefield in the North.

The battle involved 10,000 Royalists marching on Bradford, with 4,000 Parliamentarians attempting to stop them at this field.

The retrospective application had been submitted after Bradford Council issued enforcement notices against the pub for the unauthorised marquees - used for weddings and other functions.

Submitted earlier this year by L&C Leisure, owners of the pub, the application said they had not realised they needed planning permission for the marquees. They claimed the pub could shut down if they were forced to remove them.

As well as weddings the marquee has hosted major events including An Evening With Tyson Fury and An Evening with Peter Andre.

Their retrospective application has now been refused by Bradford Council, with planning officers citing seven different reasons for refusal.

They are:

  • that it is inappropriate development in the greenbelt,
  • that it affects the "special character and visual appearance" of the historic battlefield,
  • that the marquees "adversely affects the special character" of the Tong Valley Landscape Character Area,
  • that they are an "obtrusive feature and detrimental to the visual amenity of the wider street scene"
  • that the use as a party/wedding venue is "detrimental to the amenities of neighbouring residents by reason of noise, vehicular activity and general disturbance"
  • that the development has an "adverse effect on the setting of the nearby listed public house"
  • and that there is not enough information in the application about how much traffic the marquees generate and how the base of the marquees was constructed.

One of the objections to the plans came from the Battlefields Trust - a charity dedicated to the preservation and research of the country's battlefields.

They said: "We are concerned that if the application was agreed it would have a negative impact on the setting of the battlefield. The trust is also concerned that the proposed use of the marquee for weddings and similar events would jeopardise any future systematic recovery of extant battlefield archaeology.

"This is because ring pulls, loose change and other similar metallic objects are likely to be dropped on the field with the marquee. This will make the recovery of any 17th-century battle related objects using metal detectors prohibitively difficult due to the significant number of false signals that would be generated by such detritus.

"The trust finds it hard to conceive that the claimed benefits of the development - continued operation of the pub for the community and some local employment, outweigh the impact on a scarce nationally important heritage resource."

Historic England also objected to the plans, saying: "We are extremely disappointed to see this retrospective application and the extent of excursion on the registered battlefield."

Council Heritage Officer Jon Ackroyd said: "Much of the battlefield remains as open pasture, comparable to how it would have existed at the time of the battle.

"The installed marquees are incongruous and cause substantial harm to the designated battlefield."

A spokesman for L & C Leisure Limited told the Telegraph & Argus they were planning to appeal against the decision to refuse the plans.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Planning Enforcement Notices have been issued, which are subject to an appeal process and timescales for these are not within our control. We have to wait for the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol to issue an official start letter, which will set out the dates for the appeal process. This means the requirements of the Planning Enforcement Notice are in effect on hold until the outcome of the appeal is known.”