Wedding venue labels council request ‘batty’

Friday February 2nd 2024


Rosebery Farm Steadings is a wedding and events venue, near Gorebridge.

A wedding venue ordered to carry out a survey of resident bats before being allowed to play music outdoors claimed the request came too late in ‘the season’.

Rosebery Steadings wanted to change conditions over its venue, near Gorebridge, to allow it to erect a marquee in its courtyard and play music.

However concern over the impact on possible bat roosts in a building across from the site were raised by Midlothian Council’s officers and they asked the applicants to carry out a survey of the area.

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A report by planning officers said they were “not forthcoming” with the information and the applicant’s agent described the survey request as ‘not proportionate to the amount of times there would be amplified music as proposed”.

Rejecting the application last November officers said that without a survey of bats they could not approve outdoor music.

The venue operators have now lodged an appeal to the council’s Local Review Body in which they describe the request for the survey as ‘overly onerous’.

They say: “The timing of the request for a survey was unfortunate and finding a suitably qualified ecologist with time available towards the end of the season resulted in us missing the opportunity to get a survey done.

“We feel that the requested information is overly onerous given the limited scale and decibel level proposed.”

Instead the applicants argue that even if there are bats present on the site, the impact of the occasional outdoor events would not be enough to cause concern.

They say: “We believe that in this case, the impact on bats (accepting that they are present) is a minor reduction in activity during the event, returning to normal following the event and that the proposal complies with policy.”

The appeal will be hard before the review body next week.

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