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Weddings plan agreed for historic village tower site

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Front
Weddings plan agreed for historic village tower site

THE creation of a wedding venue at a historic site near Dumfries is primarily to help preserve local heritage rather than for profiteering, the owner insisted this week.

Jamie Johnstone, whose family owns Amisfield Tower and surrounding grounds, was relived to be granted planning permission on Wednesday to start hosting weddings on their land.

A large wedding marquee will be installed in the walled garden of the Amisfield estate, near to the 18th century Amisfield Tower, and this unique location will soon host newlyweds and their guests.

However, the village was split over the plans and 24 letters of objection were submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council. Road safety concerns were raised and there were also accusations of “profiteering”.

This meant that Mr Johnstone, whose family have owned Amisfield Tower for four generations, had to attend the planning committee and convince councillors to approve the wedding venue plans.

He said: “Whilst we’re very fortunate to own such a historic property, it does require significant investment – both time and finances – in order to maintain it to the standard it deserves, and prevent the house and grounds from falling into a state of disrepair.

“The primary goal of this application is to enable us to provide weddings, which can be enjoyed by couples from all over Dumfries and beyond, and also to allow us to generate revenue to fully reinvest into the estate to preserve its heritage – with no intention to profiteer.

“Alongside this, the venue and house will employ young people in and around Dumfries, and benefit the local economy as a whole.

“The day-to-day running of the venue will be handled by Queensberry Events, who previously ran wedding successfully for seven years at Dalswinton Estate, just ten minutes away from Amisfield.

“Their experience will guarantee a professionally-run operation.”

Planning officer Toril Glendinning recommended the plans be approved and the committee approved the application.

The permanent wedding marquee will measure 15m by 45m and will be 5.5m in height. A septic tank and soakaway will also be installed. Four more passing places will also be created on the single narrow road leading to Amisfield Tower to accommodate the extra traffic.

Dumfries and West

24th May

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