A view of the Ashdown Forest. Wealden Council's planning team says a proposed festival would have a 'significant impact' on the forest.

Plans for four-day festival at Nutley await outcome of licence application

A Wealden Council licensing sub-committee meeting which was due to take place yesterday to consider a licence application for a four-day festival on land at Pippingford Park, Nutley, was postponed.

Documents prepared for the committee say that if a licence is granted the Forest Bound event – a festival of sport and activity aimed at families with teenage kids – would be held there.

It would incorporate a number of non-licensable activities including competitive races in orienteering, running and cycling which already take place at Pippingford.

Two other four-day festivals

The applicant Mr Nigel Greenwood, of SoSussex, already holds two separate premises licences for the same site for two other four-day festivals, Elderflower Fields and Byline.

The latest application covers alcohol sale/supply, live and recorded music, performance of dance, plays and films.

The hours given are from Monday to Thursday, 10am to midnight, and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2am.

The application also includes late night refreshment from Monday to Sunday from 11pm to 5am.

‘Significant impact’

Wealden Council’s planning team have raised concerns about the effect granting a licence would have on the Ashdown Forest, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area, and a Special Area of Conversation.

It says the application, if granted would have a ‘significant impact’ on the Ashdown Forest and says it does not contain information to allow an appropriate assessment to be conducted, or that such assessment has been undertaken, therefore the application should be refused.

The applicant has been asked to produce additional information, specifically how he proposes to uphold the licensing objectives with regard to the requirements of the EU Habitats Directive, which lays down rules for the protection, management and exploitation of such habitats and species on protected sites.

Detail

A report which was due to go to the committee yesterday says: “That information needs to be of sufficient detail to allow the local authority to undertake an appropriate assessment of the impact of the application on the environment of the Ashdown Forest; to ensure that the environment of persons living and working within the area of the licensed premises are not adversely affected,and that the application is not giving rise to a public nuisance, or to provide evidence that such an appropriate assessment has been conducted.

The report says the sub-committee had three options:

  • Grant the licence subject to conditions
  • Exclude from the scope of the licence any of the licensable activities to which the application relates, or
  • Reject the application.

A new date for the licensing sub-committee meeting was not given on the Wealden Council website.

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