Festival for up to 3,000 people in Chelmsford gets go ahead

Music festivals of up to 3,000 people in a field off one of Chelmsford’s busiest roads are allowed to go ahead despite locals’ safety concerns.

Neighbours had urged Chelmsford City Council’s licensing panel to reject an application for a festival of up to 3,000 people on land off Essex Regiment Way on the grounds of traffic safety.

But organisers have now been granted permission to host up to 3,000 guests at Wheelers Farm.

Organisers put on three events at the farm in Little Waltham over the summer of 2023 with sizes ranging from 500 to around 1,400 attendees.

New permission has now been granted to LDN Wild allowing no more than six events two of which cannot exceed 3,000 people.

For up to two events per year, the number of patrons shall not exceed 1,500 and for the remaining two events per year, the number of patrons shall not exceed 1,000.

The six events are limited to be held between April 30 and October 31 annually with licensable hours between 1pm to 11pm Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

The land in the immediate vicinity of the lake is to be cordoned off to ensure that no patrons can access that area during events.

The committee had heard concerns around road safety particularly for pedestrians at previous events – albeit in 2021 the event had been run by a different operator – with problems of congestion and safety on the local highways network, including cars being abandoned on grass verges and pedestrians walking along unlit fast roads.

The committee has conditioned that no event could take place if, within six weeks of submission by the applicant of a traffic management plan, Essex Police, the Licensing Authority, or Essex County Council Highways were to lodge an objection to such plan and any such objection was not withdrawn.

A statement from the committee granting the licence said: “The committee carefully considered the concerns expressed by the Police, local residents Chelmsford Garden Community Council and Little Waltham Parish Council, but considered that, with the imposition of the conditions referred to which were discussed and largely agreed upon at the meeting, there was no current evidence to indicate prospective harm at this stage. There have been no significant issues with events taking place since 2021.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter