Sussex music festival noise ‘not excessive’, expert rules ahead of licence review

W24C wild life festival in Shoreham on June 6/7 SUS-150906-135532001
W24C wild life festival in Shoreham on June 6/7 SUS-150906-135532001

NOISE from a Sussex music festival which prompted a series of complaints was ‘not excessive’, a senior environmental health officer has concluded.

A review of Wild Life festival’s premises licence will be conducted on Tuesday, triggered by noise complaints during the two-day event at Shoreham Airport in June.

The Shoreham Society has called for sound levels to be limited – backed up by a survey of 142 residents, of which nearly a quarter said noise was ‘excessive’.

But a report to be considered by Adur District Council’s licensing committee suggests noise recorded at the time was not inappropriate.

A representation by senior environmental health officer Michael Lavender, who measured the sound levels at complainants’ properties during the event, said: “My own subjective opinion was that the noise was audible but it was not excessive, a view shared by my colleague who also monitored the event.

“I could hold a normal conversation without having to raise my voice and given the event is only one weekend a year, I would not consider the disturbance caused by it to amount to a public nuisance.”

The application registered 19 letters of support, with 16 in favour of organisers SJM.

Complaints included ‘an unacceptable continual thump of bass’ and a resident reportedly ‘unable to sleep in our home with the windows shut’.

The society has called for sound levels to be limited to 65 decibels, instead of the current 75 decibels.

But the report states recordings taken at complainants’ properties was at or below the limit called for.

A representation by Vanguardia, SJM’s sound specialists, argued noise management was ‘a success’ throughout the weekend, with no breaches of the festival’s licence.

A total of 47 complaints were received throughout the weekend – a level it considered as ‘low’.

It details planned improvements for next year, including tweaking stage locations and investigating better control of bass.

The review will be heard at the Shoreham Centre, in Pond Road, from 6.30pm.

An extra day has been scheduled in case the hearing overruns.

In granting the original licence for alcohol, regulated entertainment and the sale of late night refreshment, the licensing committee imposed 106 conditions.