A controversial plan to allow planes to regularly take off and land at a rural Herefordshire wedding venue has been given the go-ahead.

The application by Lyde Court near Hereford, lodged last November, was to regularise the use of a nearby grass airstrip on a field, and a barn repurposed as a hangar.

The venue’s manager Gary Waring, an experienced pilot who also heads up the Left Bank and De Koffie Pot in Hereford, already uses the field as an airstrip, measuring 450 by 20 metres, “on an informal basis”, his application said.

“The venue has previously offered newlyweds and guests a short, celebratory flight, and the applicant’s experience is that photographs with the aircraft are also extremely popular,” it explained.

Establishing its permanent use “could function as a commercial and tourism-related opportunity for Hereford and a unique selling point for weddings and functions”.

It would also enable visitors to Hereford to arrive by private aircraft and then travel onward by road to city, the application suggested.


The permission foresaw a maximum of 30 flights each weekday, with up to 15 on weekends and bank holidays.

But Pipe and Lyde Parish Council made several objections, including that the number of flights proposed was “far too many”.

The area’s transport network “is not suitable for more traffic” and indeed vehicles already “run into difficulty accessing the venue as it is”, they said.

A sizeable number of locals attended a parish council meeting on the proposal in April, while 88 objections were lodged with Herefordshire Council, along with 26 supporting it.

Local ward councillor Pauline Crockett said the plan “does not support our environment policy, and this viable business will not be affected if this application is refused”.

But the council’s planning officer recommended approving the plan with several conditions, including that it only be used by smaller fixed-wing single-engine aircraft, with use of helicopters kept to no more than two flights a week, and no flights before 8am or after 9pm.

Councillors on the planning committee yesterday narrowly gave their approval by five votes to four, with four abstentions.