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Plans for field festival in Stanmer Park met by strong protests
12:40pm Tuesday 8th January 2013 in News
Campaigners will present a petition to councillors to try to block plans for a music festival at a popular park.
Last year’s event, on October 6, left the park a mudbath, with locals claiming that the site is yet to recover.
The petition will be presented to the council’s economic development and culture committee on Thursday, January 10 with a final decision on whether the festival will be approved due by the end of the month.
Protesters are already concerned that organisers plan to add an extra day to the event for 2013.
Jamie Hooper, from the Friends of Stanmer Park, said: “The council’s attitude is ‘Well it’s ok, it will all get sorted out in the wash and we can always get money from the organisers later’.
“But that’s not right. The site is no better than it was in October when they left.
“I know we have had appalling weather, but I haven’t seen anyone making any effort to get the ground back to the way it was.”
Jenny Lyon, who will present the petition to the committee, claimed that residents were assured that once American Express Community Stadium was built there would be no further festivals held in the park.
The council confirmed that organisers have applied to hold the festival over the weekend of September 28 and 29.
In a report to the committee, officers said: “Shakedown has attracted some negative reaction, post event, due to the condition of the park.
“The organisers continue to work with City Parks and their own contractors to reinstate the park to its pre event condition as soon as possible, bearing the cost of this reinstatement.
“2012 was an extraordinary wet year with parks and open spaces across the country experiencing similar experiences.”
Shakedown said the 17,000 people last year contributed around £250,000 directly to the Brighton and Hove economy and a further £250,000 indirectly to city businesses such as hotels and after-party venues.
Geoffrey Bowden, the chair of the council committee, said that they were “continuing discussions with all interested parties” over this year’s event, adding he expected an agreement to be made by “the end of the month”.
Talking point: How concerned are you about music festivals taking place in Stanmer Park? Should the park continue to be used as an outdoor venue in the summer, or kept as a haven for wildlife?
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