Springfield Farm: Student party plan blocked by council
Matthew Smith, Local Democracy Reporter
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
An end of term party for student revellers on farmland outside St Albans has been halted.
Muhammad Chaudhary had applied for a Temporary Event Notice to host a 450-capacity event on Springfield Farm on December 18, but St Albans district council has stepped in to ban the event.
Environmental Health objected to the use of the Old Parkbury Lane site for music events after dozens of complaints over the summer.
An officer said SADC received 80 complaints about the noise from festivals on the site from nine events, despite some of those trying to limit the noise levels.
The December event would have included DJs and the sale of alcohol in a single tent, but the organiser said it wouldn’t have been comparable to other festivals held on the site.
Mr Chaudhary committed to using limiters on speakers and using monitoring points around the site: “We want to make sure the event takes place, so we’ll make sure that the sound isn’t heard at any of the points at all, and make sure it’s completely dead at all the points you’ve mentioned – even if that means we have to turn it down by a lot, just to make sure the event happens.”
Environmental Health officer Marieke Koller said while weddings and smaller events had gone ahead without complaint, she couldn’t support the use of live music or DJs on the site.
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The department had previously objected to plans for a festival on the site in August after complaints from nearby residents, which was also rejected by the council.
Ms Koller said: “Due to the topography and the bad history from this summer, I do not think this type of events are suitable for the site.
“The experience level [of organiser] seems to make some difference, but not enough to really maintain or prevent neighbouring premises from complaining – and they are quite a distance away from the site.”
Councillors on SADC's licensing sub-committee rejected the application on Friday, and issued a counter notice to prevent the event going ahead.
They said they did not believe the applicant would be able to hold the event and promote the licensing objective in relation to the prevention of public nuisance: “We note that the event is relatively small but the Environmental Health officer considers that even with smaller events of this type noise complaints are likely to be triggered.”