A WEDDING venue, which was closed down for breaching Covid rules, has been allowed to retain an events marquee that was at the centre of the allegations.

Gomersal Lodge Hotel in Gomersal was one of three venues forced to shut in October after investigations revealed they had been holding weddings for up to 150 people - against the Covid restrictions at the time.

Covid-19 safety measures were also not being followed at each venue, with a lack of social distancing, especially at arrival and departure.

They were directed by Kirklees Council to remain shut until this improved.

Now the Hotel has successfully been granted a certificate of lawfulness for the large marquee in its grounds, which is used to host events and wedding receptions. The certificate means they now have a legal right of use for the land, having established that there has been a marquee on the land for more than ten years.

Hotel owner Nasir Hussain provided a statement as part of the application to say that a marquee was first put up in May 2009 to be used to host events and weddings. He also provided a copy of two five-year lease agreements for a third party to operate events and weddings from the structure, with the first dated around the same time.

A report by Council planners states that aerial photos show a marquee in place in 2012 and 2018, but not in 2009, although it is not known which point in 2009 the photo was taken.

It states: “The lease agreements add greater weight to the claim a marquee was erected sometime in 2009, perhaps temporarily, and weddings held at the site. Significant weight can be given to the lease agreements particularly with regard to the use of the marquee land for the holding of wedding events from 2009 onwards.”

During the latest national lockdown wedding receptions were banned. And it is only as these restrictions have eased in recent weeks that venues are allowed to host receptions again, with the current rules allowing 15 guests, inline with rules on outdoor hospitality.

Kirklees Council said: “The law now allows for both wedding ceremonies and receptions for up to 15 people. Wedding ceremonies can be indoors in properly licensed premises. The reception can only be outdoors, in line with the rules on outdoor hospitality.

“Marquees can be used as long as part of the sides are removed so the structure is at least 50 per cent open to the elements. We have a programme of visiting all establishments where outdoor hospitality can occur and this will include Gomersal Lodge Hotel.”

“Previous issues which resulted in a closure order of Gomersal Lodge Hotel were related to Covid-19 breeches within both the building and the marquee. However, we haven’t found any issues so far in line with the current restrictions or any complaints or referrals from the Police.”