License granted for a party venue next to a mental hospital

A party and wedding venue next to a mental hospital have been given the green light to play live music and sell alcohol, despite noise issues.

The luxury venue is based in a mansion near Thatcham. The mansion housed a former school, which closed after a child abuse scandal three decades ago.

Pinchington Hall – formerly called Crookham Court Manor – is directly opposite Thornford Park Hospital. The mansion can now be used for ‘high end luxury events’, with alcohol and music, after receiving a premises license from West Berkshire Council.

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The license was granted over fears that loud revelers late at night could disturb patients at the nearby mental hospital, especially those with severe autism.

The license means that:

  • Live bands can now play music outdoors until 11 p.m. and until midnight in the dining room on Fridays and Saturdays
  • A cellar bar can sell alcohol until 11 p.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
  • A maximum of 120 clients can be in the field at the same time

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Advisors to the licensing subcommittee heard concerns from neighbors at a remote meeting on May 18, as well as license applicant Linda Beechey-Smith.

They said Ms Beechey-Smith must show council how the site plans to deal with noise, preventing revelers from disturbing hospital patients and people living nearby.

She wants to use Pinchington Hall for “very high end events” like small weddings, corporate functions, exclusive concerts, art exhibitions, an outdoor cinema and an AirBnB.

The former Crookham Court School, based at the mansion, closed in 1989 after a BBC investigation found teachers were assaulting teenagers. Three teachers and the owner of the school were convicted and sent to jail.

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