Titchfield’s historic Great Barn to stage weddings

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A HISTORIC building has been granted permission to hold special events such as weddings.

The Great Barn, on Mill Lane, Titchfield, applied to Fareham Borough Council to change the use of the barn to a theatre, including a bar, cafe and educational centre.

The barn, or Tithe Barn as it is sometimes known, is within the Titchfield Abbey conservation area.

Titchfield Festival Theatre, a charity, has been running the barn for the past year.

Chairman of Titchfield Festival Theatre Kevin Fraser said: ‘We are continuing to grow the barn and are considering putting in a Shakespeare trail, a museum and an education centre.

‘We think it would greatly increase Titchfield’s tourism.’

Councillors spoke about how successful the charity has been at running the barn and unanimously agreed to the upgrade.

Titchfield ward Cllr Connie Hockley said: ‘I totally support this application.

‘I think the barn needs to come to life.’

On the planning committee, Cllr Paul Whittle said: ‘I support this wholeheartedly. Finding good considerate tenants for a Grade I listed building is a very hard thing to do but I think we have found them with the Titchfield Festival Theatre.’

The council had received three letters of objection about the application and 29 in support.

Weddings will now take place 14 times a year, only on a Friday or Saturday, and with the condition that all music stops and the bar closes at 11pm.

Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘It is brilliant.

‘It is our most important building in Fareham and the only Grade I listed building in the borough.

‘It is fantastic that it has been brought back to use. It’s a great asset.’