Police investigating after closure of The Barn at Forestville wedding venue

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Monday, January 13, 2020
Police investigating after closure of The Barn at Forestville wedding venue
Police investigating after closure of The Barn at Forestville wedding venue | January 13, 2020

BUCKINGHAM TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Police in Bucks County are investigating after the abrupt closure of a wedding venue.

That venue is The Barn at Forestville at 1493 Forest Grove Road in Buckingham Township.

Right now police in Bucks County are asking couples, who were set to get married there, to get in touch with them to determine if the abrupt move is a crime.

Action News talked to one bride impacted. As you might imagine, she is distraught and heartbroken and she isn't the only one. Buckingham Township police said they've received about four other complaints so far.

"We had always wanted to get married in a barn. It was beautiful and we were excited," explained Danielle Strassel of Furlong, Bucks County.

Strassel and her fiancé signed their contract with the Forestville Barn in September of last year. They paid $2,000, one-third of the cost. Strassel said the owner failed to tell her he was having legal trouble.

She said the closure came with no warning.

According to Buckingham Township officials, the owner of The Forestville Barn, Lonnie Plummer, agreed to close his business at the end of 2018 because it wasn't zoned as a public venue and neighbors had complained about noise.

But he continued to operate into 2019 and kept taking deposits for weddings stretching into 2020.

"I think it's really deceitful and dishonest. I never would have booked the place had I known it might close," said Strassel.

On December 31, just a couple weeks ago, the court did officially order Plummer to close.

Strassel said while Plummer promised her a refund back in September, she still doesn't have her money.

She said at first he had excuse after excuse, even claiming the check got lost in the mail, but later said he didn't have the money.

"It's awful, we already ordered our wedding invitations so that's just money gone, too," she said.

We tried to ask Plummer for his side of the story but he wouldn't answer our questions and ordered us off his property.

Meantime, Buckingham Township police are afraid more consumers will be impacted by the closure. They just don't know it yet.

Detective Tim Johnson is asking affected consumers to please contact him immediately. Buckingham Township has also sued Plummer for about $84,000 in zoning fines but he's appealed.

As for Strassel she has found another venue for her October wedding date.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Buckingham Township Police Department's Criminal Investigations Unit at 215-794-8812.