Ringwood ‘party house’ hit with enforcement notice

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ringwood party house
Outside the home in Ringwood

A “PARTY house” in Ringwood has been slapped with an enforcement notice because the activities there are “spoiling” the secluded and peaceful rural lane.

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New Forest District Council has hit the home, known as Crockets, at Linford Road, Hangersley, with the notice because of the “high levels of noise and disturbance”. However, the owner has denied this, saying the authority has no proof.

An online advert states parties of up to 25 people can hire the residence (pictured) for a weekend stay for a cost of between £1,500 and £2,500.

In the notification the authority states it wants to stop the unauthorised use of the site as a “party house”.

It explained the “prevailing character” of the surrounding area is large, detached homes within substantial residential plots on a rural lane in an “attractive and peaceful area”.

But it went on: “The house and land is advertised online as a holiday let or ‘party house’ for groups of people up to 25 in number. The house is occupied mainly at weekends and accommodates hen parties and other large groups for short stays.

“By virtue of the nature of the use, there are high levels of noise and disturbance caused by large numbers of people, use of loud music, talking/shouting/laughing and other behaviour associated with party activities.

ringwood party house
The dining area

“As a result the unauthorised use is having a serious and detrimental impact on the level of the amenity that the neighbouring properties can reasonably expect to enjoy by reason of noise and disturbance.”

The enforcement notice goes on: “The use of the land is not typical of that found in the area and is in conflict with the otherwise peaceful residential character of the area.

“The large numbers of people coming to the land and associated vehicular comings and goings is excessive for that normally expected of a residential dwelling and further exacerbates the inappropriate nature of the use.”

The owner of the house, 62-year-old property developer Martin Risdale, has challenged the NFDC action.

In his submission Mr Risdale insisted he, his wife and two children live there and a change of use could “seriously affect the value of the property or place us outside of our mortgage conditions”.

ringwood party house
The living room

He admitted the family accommodates holiday lettings, during which they move out and into a “spare house next door”.

Mr Risdale continued: “The LPA [NFDC] alleges that these lettings are party-type functions, but in reality they are 50/50 with family lettings and we have a strict rule of noise control in our letting agreement and commensurate signage.”

There has been no proof provided by NFDC of excessive noise by way of recordings, he argued, the neighbours live 60 meters away, and he contested the claim in regard to vehicle movements.

Other homes in the New Forest which provide holiday lettings and are promoted by the district council have not had enforcement action launched against them, he alleged, and the Risdale family had paid £7,500 to make safety improvements to the property.

Mr Risdale said AirBnB advised him any UK home could be listed online to let for 90 nights per calendar year without requiring a change of use, provided the owners paid council tax.

“We have never exceeded this amount,” he stressed. “As of today’s date [3rd August] we currently stand at 53 nights, which can be proven, and are approaching the end of season.

“This income is our only source of income and could make us homeless if enforced,” Mr Risdale warned.

On Companies House Mr Risdale’s occupation is listed as property developer. It reveals he has been a director of a number of companies that have been dissolved and is the active director of Town and Country Property Developments Ltd, which is based at the Linford Road address.

A decision is expected after the deadline for submissions on 8th January

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