Grays Court Faces Public Enquiry

September 26th, 2013
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The boutique hotel and historical heritage property Grays Court faces a public inquiry next month, deciding about a possible close-down of the well-regarded hotel within York’s city walls. Helen Heraty, owner of the hotel, contested the enforcement notice, issued by City of York Council, and the matter was due to be examined during a two-day planning inquiry, to be held at the council’s West Offices HQ, on October 15 and 16.

Last year, Mrs Heraty received a first enforcement note, comprising the order to halt weddings and other dining functions at the hotel, as well as closing the hotel’s tea room by 9pm (apart from two days a month).

Moreover, officials claim that Helen Heraty runs her undoubtedly flourishing hotel without a planning permission. This is why they demand a retrospective planning application from her. Mrs Heraty, however, opposes those accusations, claiming to have a proper planning permission for the hotel.

The climax of the dispute between the officials and Grays Court, a site that was classified a Grade I building, is now being seen with the new enforcement note menacing the hotel to close completely. A possible close-down of the boutique hotel would make its 20 employees lose their jobs.

The enforcement note, having primarily been issued in spring but was then withdrawn due to technical issues is now readopted and encloses neighbouring residents’ issues with regard to noise and disturbance caused by events taking place at Grays Court. Mrs Heraty claims that the noise levels are carefully and independently monitored to ensure that neighbours are not disturbed.

The path Helen Heraty has gone to turn a run-down but beautiful old Yorkshire heritage into a prosperous boutique hotel can be followed by watching a documentary about her ambitions and the final realisation of her plans (“For Love Or Money”).

  • Florencia Clifford

    Helen Heraty has been the victim of a witch hunt since she bought Grays Court, the way she has been treated is despicable. . I went for a private party there the other day, it was not only served delicious food but the intimacy of the setting made you enjoy this historic house in a way that felt special, unique.

    Our council is hopeless, totally hopeless I think their aim is to keep York as a mediocre tourist trap.

    Go Helen!

    • Rhiannon Heraty

      Dear Florencia,

      As Helen’s daughter and an employee of Grays Court, I’d just like to thank you so much for your support and kind words. If you’d like to come along to the enquiry on the 15th and 16th October, please feel free.

      Thanks again!

  • Jacqueline Chainey

    To close a flourishing business in such an historic and beautiful venue would be an act of utter stupidity. What would happen to the building then? We wish Helen Heraty well in her continuing venture.

    • Rhiannon Heraty

      Dear Jacqueline,

      Again, thank you so much for your support! I agree, what would the building be used for if not this? I hope people open their eyes soon and realise that we are contributing to York’s tourism, rather than being detrimental.

      Thank you again,

  • Gastro Gothic

    Poor Helen, when will the neighbours leave her alone?
    They appear to be so bitter, twisted and jealous.

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