Row that's what i call music!

PUBLISHED: 15:33 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 13:39 04 May 2010

The East Cambs District Council logo

The East Cambs District Council logo

A massive Glastonbury-style pop festival is coming to a small village near Ely. Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the event at Sunny Ridge Farm, Lode. East Cambridgeshire s licensing committee has approved the application from Doug Durrant, w

A massive Glastonbury-style pop festival is coming to a small village near Ely.

Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the event at Sunny Ridge Farm, Lode.

East Cambridgeshire's licensing committee has approved the application from Doug Durrant, who hopes to bring some of the biggest names in the music industry to the 112-acre site for the three-day Lodestar event between August 31 and September 2.

The festival aims to attract 28,000 music-lovers who will be able to enjoy a selection of contemporary music, theatre and dance.

The planning application, which was approved yesterday (Wednesday), states that the site is a large group of fields threequarters of a mile from the edge of Lode village, which has a population of 892.

Access to the main parking area will be via the B1102 on the outskirts of the village and festival-goers will get to the site via Harvey's Droveway.

Within the proposed licensing area, there are Baileys Hill (26 acres) and Priors (32 acres), which would be the main festival fields, and Soileys Orchard and Soileys Cut (22 acres), which would be used for camping.

Following a licence sub-committee hearing in June, an application for a maximum of 4,999 people was granted by East Cambs District Council. A smaller event was planned for September but this did not go ahead and Mr Durrant submitted the much larger application.

Mr Durrant was yesterday unavailable for comment.

The district council has received a petition from a small number of residents unhappy about the proposal.

Villagers' concerns included:

- security;

- drug and alcohol-related crime;

- crowd control;

- vandalism;

- disruption to wildlife;

- people travelling to and from the site.

Some residents felt the event would benefit the village as long as there were no problems with crime and disorder.

In the conclusion to the application, it says: "Lodestar Festival management team is aware that any size of festival will undoubtedly cause disruption and inconvenience on local roads.

"However, the festival team believe that, as with all other areas of site management, the problems are not insurmountable.

"With local negotiation, securing of professional services and solid risk assessment, we hope to minimise local disruption while giving an excellent visitor experience to ticket holders.

"There is a great opportunity for local village people and some have already come forward requesting stalls on the site. The village social club has been offered the opportunity of having a bar at the event and local amateur dramatic, arts and bands will be asked to perform and exhibit."

Licensing officer, Rowland Wilson, said: "We have a duty to all those who will be attending the event and the local residents to ensure their safety.

"We will now be working closely with Mr Durrant and the other organisations and authorities to ensure the festival is well-run and a success."

The report went on to say that Glastonbury Festivals Ltd spend more than £3million with local companies each year and, wherever possible, it uses local suppliers and 25 per cent of the workforce comes from the local area.


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