Day festival in St Albans cancelled following noise complaints

Nova Fest will not be taking place at Springfield Farm this weekend.

Nova Fest will not be taking place at Springfield Farm this weekend. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A day festival set to take place in St Albans this weekend has been refused permission to take place after a “huge amount” of complaints from local residents.

The Environmental Health Authority (EHA) said they received a “huge amount of complaints” at an event at Springfield Farm, Old Parkbury Lane, last weekend, and objected to plans for a day party on Sunday, August 15.

Aaron Wallace, of Nova Fest, had been seeking permission to allow live music and the sale of alcohol from 10am to 11pm on Sunday.

Springfield Farm already has a premises licence, but the application would have allowed an event to begin an hour earlier and potentially with fewer conditions – but with a capacity of 499.

But St Albans district council refused permission and said that they do not believe the organiser can hold the event while meeting licensing conditions.

The EHA said they had received in the region of 28 complaints from 28 different households in regards to loud music and intrusive bass during the summer, which were allowed to go ahead under the farm’s current events licence.

The authority raised concerns about the impact for local residents if a festival was allowed to happen with fewer restrictions in place.

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Environmental protection manager David Webb told the council’s licensing sub-committee: “Many of the events that have taken place were held under the licence and these included specific noise conditions. 

“Unfortunately because of the Temporary Event Notice there were no specific noise conditions for this event and therefore we are concerned that it will cause significant impact on residents.”

Mr Webb added last week they received a “huge amount of complaints” and witnessed noise issues from monitoring points on site, and there were some concerns about anti-social behaviour.

He added: “As such, we feel without further mitigation in place Springfield Farm is an unsuitable location for this type of event, in particular Nova Fest.

“I’d like to add, it’s not just the noise, it’s also the duration and frequency of events that have been happening. Obviously this event is due to take place throughout the day, on a Sunday, and therefore we feel it’s likely to cause noise issues for residents.”

The sub-committee refused permission for the event to take place, and issued a counter notice.

Their written decision said:

1. We have heard a representation from the Environmental Health Authority who are our experts with regard to Prevention of Public Nuisance. We have seen evidence of complaints relating to noise at the site.

We have heard that excessive noise has been observed by three independent professional witnesses when licences were in place with those conditions. We understand that an abatement notice has been served on the premises which means that noise was found to be a statutory nuisance.

2. We note that the applicant has failed to attend today to counter the objection.

3. We do not consider that Mr Aaron Wallace of Nova can hold the proposed event and promote the licensing objectives in particular the Prevention of Public Nuisance.

Appeals must be submitted at least five working days before the event, so in this case the applicant is not able to appeal the decision.

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