Secret Garden Party given go-ahead to expand again

THIS year’s Secret Garden Party is set to be the biggest yet as event organisers gain permission to increase numbers to 32,000.

But for the first time, villagers surrounding Lord de Ramsey’s land, at Abbotts Ripton, will not look forward to the four-night festival with dread as Backwoodsman Limited have agreed to increase security within the villages and increase noise level monitoring.

Villagers in Kings Ripton, in particular, feel they are the worst affected by the event as crime is reported to increase from just three crimes in September to 115 during July, when the festival takes place.

Diane Jenkins, clerk of the parish council, heard intoxicated people had started to camp in gardens last year but after two meetings with Backwoodsman Ltd, she feels the show won’t have a great affect on the village in July.

She told The Hunts Post: “We have had reassurances in writing that there will be 24-hour security for the villages, with someone at the end of a phone all day if we need it. We will also see some noise level monitors put in the village and if it gets too high we can report it.

“Parking has also been a problem in recent years but this year, residents will get parking permits, and cones will be put out to stop people from parking on our streets.”

Huntingdonshire District Council’s Licensing Committee approved plans on Thursday (January 26) to increase capacity from 26,000 to 32,000 - an extra 4,000 revellers and 2,000 workers. Last year 17,000 patrons turned up to the SGP, with 9,000 workers also on site.

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Kings Ripton Parish Council had raised a complaint with HDC claiming the festival organisers breached sound levels and playing times, but withdrew the comment after Backwoodsman Ltd produced a list of safeguards.