Go ahead for festival for 8,000 people despite village opposition

Illegal Rave. Photo from Pexels/Unsplash.

There are fears a lifestyle festival could bring disruption to rural Hockwold - Credit: Pexels/Unsplash.

Up to 8,000 people will be allowed to attend a "trade show with additional entertainments" despite opposition from people living around the site.

Acle-based Urban Hydro has been granted a licence to serve alcohol and have live music at Hockwold, near Brandon, over four days from September 2 - 6.

West Norfolk council's licensing committee gave the go-ahead for the Paradise Gardens Hydro and Urban Lifestyle Show, which will be held on fields off Cowles Drove.

Councillors heard there were concerns over access to the site from the B1112 which has a speed limit of 60mph, traffic congestion and the safety of the residents of Hockwold cum Wilton, particularly those who live along Cowles Drove. There were also concerns over noise and disturbance to people and livestock.

But councillors concluded Urban Hydro had put forward "a strong case" and "once on site the event will be well controlled".

In its decision notice, the council stated: "The applicant’s representative acknowledged that the prospect of a festival is disconcerting but repeated that it would be a properly run and managed festival by operators who have experience of running such events.

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"The applicant has engaged, at significant expense, a raft of experienced contractors to assist them with what is proposed including, stewards, medical services and traffic management."

The council set a total attendance limit of 8,000 to include the public, staff and performers. It also set a condition that traffic management staff must be present along Cowles Drove between 10am and 10pm from Thursday to Sunday and from 9am to 2pm on Monday to assist traffic flow.

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It also recommended tickets should be sold in advance online rather than on the gate, to help reduce congestion on Cowles Drove.

The event's website says: "Paradise Gardens is about to revolutionise the show culture and become the largest hydroponics, music and urban lifestyle event in the UK.

"We are transforming the typical trade-show landscape by bringing together 40+ big-name music artists across jungle, reggae, hip-hop, drum & bass, electro-swing, acoustic and house and techno with the progressive world of hydroponics."

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