York hoteliers granted licence to re-open historic Old Deanery next to Ripon Cathedral after noise disturbance debate

The new business owners of The Old Deanery in Ripon have been granted a licence to reopen the 16th century building as a hotel, restaurant and wedding venue later this month.

Hoteliers Rebecca Hill and Chris Layton took over the historic building last year after it was forced to close following months of coronavirus lockdowns.

The pair - who also run York’s Galtres Lodge Hotel - revealed plans to renovate the building and have now been granted a premises licence after a meeting of Harrogate Council’s sub-licensing committee today.

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Ms Hill told the committee that Ripon residents want to see The Old Deanery “thrive” as a new business and that support from locals has been “huge”.

The Old DeaneryThe Old Deanery
The Old Deanery

She said: “The Old Deanery is one of the most significant businesses in Ripon. It is a key part of the city, both for the business community and tourism economy, as well as the wider residential community.”

Despite the support of residents, Ms Hill said the licence application had been hit with “unnecessary” conditions put forward by environmental protection officers at Harrogate Council.

These included a ban on speakers and music being played outdoors.

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Ms Hill said the rules were suggested with “little knowledge” of the area and would have been a “detriment” to the new business which wants to ensure The Old Deanery’s gardens remain open to the public who can enjoy music at events.

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Council officers argued these rules were “fair and lenient” - but they were later dropped by members of the sub-licensing committee.

Ms Hill said: “The representations from Harrogate Council’s environmental protection team centre around noise disturbance - something that we hold in the highest importance.

“We do not believe our application will cause any issues in this respect.”

The Old Deanery neighbours and is owned by Ripon Cathedral.

It dates from 1625 and has 11 bedrooms, gardens, and several public areas which are being restored back to a country house that will be available for weddings and other events.