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Victoria Park music festival given green light

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CONTROVERSIAL proposals for a two day music festival on Warrington’s Victoria Park have been given the green light by the town’s licensing chiefs.

Complaints from local residents and an online petition signed by 250 people fell on deaf ears as licensing chiefs approved the application by SJM – the music promotion company owned by
Warrington Wolves’ owner Simon Moran.

After hearing arguments from local residents and representatives of SJM, members of the licensing committee said they accepted the application met all legal requirements and granted the application pending various conditions.

Although the application for a seasonal premises licence to Warrington Borough Council for May, June, July, August and September next year – the proposed two day concert is expected to take place around the May Bank Holiday.

Local resident Michael Miller organised an online petition opposing the proposed concert calling for the council to refuse the licence applications, now and in the future, granting SJM Limited (or related companies) the ability to stage Regulated events such as open air music concerts with the associated sale of alcohol in Victoria Park.

Victoria Park has previously hosted V Fest in 1996 featuring Supergrass and Pulp, which attracted 35000 people and 9000 vehicles. Radiohead also performed at the venue in 2000.

In opposing the application Mr Miller said many people who live in the area are underprivileged or pensioners who would suffer from the noise, the invasion of cars and the alcohol and drug fuelled antisocial or criminal behaviour.

He added: “We value Victoria Park as a priceless recreational resource that needs to be kept safe and peaceful for pensioners, children, dog walkers and all residents alike.”

In support of their application SJM Ltd say the relevant authorities will be notified in writing six months prior with exact event dates.

A substantial security presence will be on site during the open periods positioned strategically throughout the site to include a number of response squads.

A search regime will be implemented on entry to the premises searching for prohibited items (weapons or illegal substances) for example we will operate a zero tolerance to drugs and any persons carrying for personal use will be denied entry.

The premises licence will operate a strict challenge 25 policy at all bars.

The premises licence holder will also employ the services of the Police to be present on site.

The premises licence holder will employ the services of the UKs leading acoustic consultants Vanguardia to create a noise management plan and who will provocatively manage noise on site during the event.

SEP who specialise in traffic management, will be employed to put together a robust traffic management plan and will work closely with the Highways department to minimise disruption to the local community.

The event will operate on the basis that anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

There will be no over night camping and capacity has been set at 25,000.

A Warrington Borough Council spokesperson said: “The licensing committee has carefully considered all representations on this issue and has made the decision to grant the license for a music event at Victoria park, with a number of strict conditions.

“If these conditions are met and the event goes ahead in 2018, a full review will be carried out and a decision then made over whether the event can take place in future years.”

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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