Philippa Rudd - EDP Property Column. Festivals!

I live in a remote village in the heart of the countryside. For the last three years, our peace has been shattered in July by a music festival that seems to grow in size and volume every year. Can you tell me how I can try to object to this?

To hold a festival, the landowner and organisers will need permission from your local council.  Certain conditions will be attached to the permission. As a resident affected by this event, you are entitled to speak to the council to put your views across and to find out what conditions will be imposed on the organisers.

Can we locals get together to try to stop the festival altogether?

You should set out your concerns in the hope that these will be addressed in a public meeting.  The council may suggest that you get together and ask your parish council to represent you.  The council will be trying to ensure that the festival has a minimal impact on nearby residents; they will be looking into road congestion and safety, fire risks, crime prevention, monitoring of noise and environmental health.

If the noise is very bad this year, can we complain to the council or take action against the organisers?

If you complain to the Environmental Health Officer at the council, they must take all reasonable steps to investigate your complaint. A statutory nuisance is defined in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as ‘noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance’. If the Environmental Health Officer agrees with you, a magistrate may make an order preventing further events. If the organiser has complied with all the conditions in the licence, it is however unlikely that you would be successful. 

If we sell our house in the future, will we have to disclose the problems to a prospective purchaser?

You have to disclose any disputes or the receiving or sending of official notices. As the festival is only once a year for a brief period it would probably not deter a purchaser in any event.


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