Villagers’ fears over festival noise

THOUSANDS of music fans could descend on Huntingdonshire later this month for a secret festival that has got some residents concerned about noise. The Secret Garden Party is advertised to take place from August 18-22 at Abbots Ripton. The festival is d

THOUSANDS of music fans could descend on Huntingdonshire later this month for a "secret" festival that has got some residents concerned about noise.

The Secret Garden Party is advertised to take place from August 18-22 at Abbots Ripton.

The festival is due to feature artists such as Graham Coxon, formerly of Blur, and Lily Allen, along with two DJ areas, food stalls and bars. There would also be camping for some of the 5,000 people expected to attend.

However, some residents are concerned noise will reach the same levels as previous festivals - keeping some residents awake until 5am.


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Kings Ripton Parish Council is seeking reassurances on behalf of residents that sound levels will be lower this year. It has forwarded its concerns to Huntingdonshire District Council to consider at the licensing meeting on August 17 - the day before the festival is due to start.

The district council will also hear other concerns, including the opening hours of the event, numbers attending and arrangements for vehicles leaving the site.

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The parish council wants the festival to take place but believes there needs to be more consideration for villagers.

Council chairman Councillor Andy Gaunt said: "Last year, residents complained that the music kept them awake until five in the morning. All we ask is that amplified music be turned off at 11pm.

"Sadly, because of the wind direction of the last two years, Kings Ripton has suffered, especially people further down the valley."

However, the chairman of Abbots Ripton Parish Council, Councillor John Lever, said his village had not reported any problems.

A spokesman for the festival promoters said the licence application was similar to previous years, including the hours assigned for live music.

He said: "(For noise levels) we have restricted ourselves to a limit that is 10 decibels lower than the national guideline and this has been agreed by HDC."

The festival will also raise money for a local primary school, collecting donations on the gate from ticket-holders.

INFORMATION: For more information about the festival and the line-up, visit www.secretgardenparty.com where tickets are still available.

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