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Wedding venue plan for former home of wing commander divides opinion

PUBLISHED: 16:34 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:13 18 June 2019

Reymerston Hall. Photo: Courtesy of Auction House East Anglia.

Reymerston Hall. Photo: Courtesy of Auction House East Anglia.

Courtesy of Auction House East Anglia.

It was the home of the eccentric flying legend and James Bond stuntman Wing Commander Kenneth Wallis - the man who soared through the air in machines of his own building.

Wing Commander Kenneth Wallis with one of his auto gyro aircraft at his home in Reymerston, Norfolk, this afternoon Thursday December 14, 2000. Wing Commander Wallis is the oldest pilot in Britain. Watch for PA story. PA Photo: Peter J Jordan. Wing Commander Kenneth Wallis with one of his auto gyro aircraft at his home in Reymerston, Norfolk, this afternoon Thursday December 14, 2000. Wing Commander Wallis is the oldest pilot in Britain. Watch for PA story. PA Photo: Peter J Jordan.

However, plans to convert part of Reymerston Hall, near Dereham, into an occasional wedding venue and bed and breakfast have been met with some anger from neighbours to the property.

Breckland Council has received a bid to alter and extend the grade II listed building, which would see the Georgian home equipped with a new function room where people can tie the knot, while continuing its residential use.

However, some neighbours to the site have already expressed disdain for the scheme, with concerns around how the proposals would impact on their lives.

One said: "We are absolutely alarmed and strongly object to the appalling proposed change of use.

"My husband and I have been residents on Reymerston Road for eight years and moved here because it is quiet and peaceful, with abundant wildlife and countryside on our doorstep. To grant permission for this monstrous development will have a devastating effect."

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Another said: "The sound will no doubt be a tremendous nuisance, so instead of hearing wildlife when you sit in your garden, there will be a constant din."

Another described the proposals as "ill-conceived and totally inappropriate".

But Elizabeth Holbrook, the property owner, said an open day event displaying the plans had received an overwhelmingly positive reaction.

She said: "We have had some really wonderful, supportive comments and it would be lovely to breathe some life into the area.

"We want our neighbours to understand that the venue part is being designed to cancel out any noise and we would use all our own equipment - there won't be egotistical DJs coming along ramping up the sound because they won't be able to.

"But most importantly, it will also be my family home and I am as sensitive to noise anyone - the occasional small wedding is purely to subsidise the upkeep of the home

"We bought this house because it is a peaceful, tranquil area and would not want to see it any other way."

Mr Wallis lived in the home until his death in 2013, at the age of 97. He was best known for designing Little Nellie, a custom aircraft famously used in Bond film You Only Live Twice.

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