IT PLAYS a vital role in the community and has helped a Hampshire pub survive the economic downturn.

A large marquee at the Three Tuns in Bransgore is used for weddings and christenings as well as events that have raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Now the Grade II-listed pub has won its battle to keep the facility, which holds up to 150 people.

Complaints about the noise made by people using the marquee resulted in members of the National Park Authority (NPA) receiving a report recommending them to reject an application to retain it.

But planning officers changed their minds after studying a noise management plan submitted by the pub on the eve of the meeting.

Landlord Nigel Glenister told the Daily Echo: “I’m obviously very pleased with the NPA’s decision. The marquee is a very important part of the business and without it I might have struggled.”

NPA members heard that the application had attracted six letters of support from people living near the Three Tuns.

And one of five noise complaints made by villagers in the past mentioned a date on which no function had actually taken place.

Planning consultant Jerry Davies, representing the applicants, said: “The marquee has been a feature of the Three Tuns throughout the spring and summer for many years. It’s an important facility that’s highly-valued, which explains why there are only letters of support on the file and none of objection.

“Its loss would have a significant impact on the community and the applicant’s business.

“It enables him to hold events that could otherwise not be accommodated.”

Mr Davies said the noise management plan included details of sound limiters and detailed the way in which any future complaints would be addressed.

The application was supported by NPA member Barry Frampton, who is also chairman of Bransgore Parish Council.

He cited the marquee’s role in village events and added: “I can’t stress how important this facility is to the local community.”

Cllr Maureen Holding added: “Pubs are fighting very hard to survive, they’ve got their backs to the wall.

“The Three Tuns might not close if we turn this down, but it might struggle or lose a member of staff.

“I’m not prepared to see that happen.”