Decision deferred on Norfolk and Norwich festival licensing hours
17:36 26 February 2014
Organisers of the Norfolk and Norwich festival have attempted to reassure people living nearby that they will not be disturbed during the event.
The guarantees came during a meeting to decide whether an application to extend the hours of the festival, which runs from May 14 to 25, in the Chaplefield Gardens Spiegeltent would be approved.
Members of Norwich City Council’s licensing committee deferred a decision when they met to consider the application this afternoon.
The festival had applied for a licence for music, live performances and sale of alcohol until 1am between Monday and Thursday, 2am on Friday and Saturday and midnight on Sunday.
But people who live near Chapelfield Gardens complained that loud music late at night stops their children from settling on school nights, makes it difficult to sleep before work and leaves their windows shaking.
There are also concerns that the sale of alcohol at the festival could lead to anti-social behaviour.
Adam Ziolkowski, who lives at Chapelfield East, raised concerns that the festival will take place during his exam period.
“In previous years I have been very disturbed by this. Last year the last night of the festival it went on until 2.15am,” he said.
His father Thomas said it was the licensing, rather than the event itself which concerned them. Representing the Chapelfield Gardens Residents’ Association, he said: “We are reasonably happy that there is a festival until 11 or 11.30pm in the evening. We don’t understand why it needs to be accompanied by the sale of alcohol.”
However, organisers tried to reassure neighbours the festival will not disrupt their normal routine.
Mark Denbigh, head of production at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival Trust, said: “We are proposing to more regularly monitor the noise levels by taking hourly readings.
“We are also offering to increase the advertising of the site telephone number around the site, so members of the public can contact us if they have problems.”
Mr Denbigh suggested other measures, including ensuring that toilet cleans happen no earlier than 8am, closing the outside bar one hour before the Spiegeltent closes and moving food venues around the site so they are not in one area.
He added that the team “are open to learning from residents”.
• What do you think of the Norfolk and Norwich festival? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.