I'm A Celeb: Gwrych Castle evening venue bid complaints

·3 min read
Gwrych Castle, Abergele, North Wales
Gwrych Castle hosted ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! for two years

The castle which hosted I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! has applied to host evening functions and serve alcohol, sparking noise concerns.

The 19th century Gwrych Castle staged the ITV show in 2020 and 2021 because lockdown restrictions prevented the programme from travelling to Australia.

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Castle bosses said since the show it has become "incredibly popular" among visitors to Abergele, Conwy county.

But some locals say its trust should not hold a licence.

It wants to sell alcohol from 10am to 1am seven days a week as well as host live music.

Residents have pointed to the 2020 death of Sharn Hughes, 58, who died on Abergele Road, Llanddulas, when she tried to take photos of the castle during filming.

David McQuillan, who lives on the castle estate, said during the first year of filming the trust did not come to a health and safety meeting attended by residents and ITV.

Residents' safety suggestions, he told Conwy council in a letter in council documents, were then not implemented by ITV.

Ant and Dec
Objectors fear health and safety and noise problems if the licence is granted

Mr McQuillan added: "The lateness of the noise from the music, combined with drunken shouting would be an unbearable nuisance and totally unacceptable."

His wife, JL Restall, said residents highlighted traffic concerns during filming that they feared could result in an accident.

"GCPT (Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust) chose not to attend any meetings with residents each year.

"ITV mentioned traffic control and security at Middle Gates but chose to not implement any measures at all despite our concerns.

"Unfortunately a local lady was killed during filming as we all feared."

"It is therefore extremely worrying that despite a fatality during increased late night footfall, they are applying for blanket late night licences, when revellers can no doubt stumble down from the castle again," she added.

Theodora McQuillan said: "As a long term resident of Hen Wyrch, within the castle grounds, I am aware of how dangerous Llanddulas Road can be". She said there had been "multiple deaths" on the road.

Abergele residents Martin Hamilton, Elysha Westwell and Helene Taylor were all worried about either noise or health and safety.

Almost 50 messages sent to the council supported the project.

The castle said it was granted approval to hold civil marriages and civil partnerships last year but now wants to sell alcohol, provide entertainment including live music and provide "late night refreshment".

"The area to be licensed is the castle and surrounding grounds, the wedding events will be held in marquees on the castle grounds," the application said.

"However, as the restoration of the castle progresses different locations within and outside the castle will need to be used."

It said there would be signs asking customers to leave quietly and respect residents.

The matter will be discussed by Conwy council later on Tuesday.