Lambeth agrees to turn down the sound at ‘noisy’ music festival

Published: Wednesday 1st March 17

Lambeth Council has agreed to reduce noise levels at August’s SW4 music festival on Clapham Common following a legal challenge by Wandsworth.

In an out-of-court settlement agreed between the two town halls and the event organisers, Lambeth has agreed to lower permitted sound levels and to also turn the music off on bank holiday Monday at the earlier time of 10pm.

The agreement was reached just ahead of Wandsworth’s legal challenge being heard at Camberwell Green magistrates court.

The legal action was taken after Lambeth allowed noise levels to be increased at last summer’s SW4 festival. This led to a six-fold increase in noise complaints from people living nearby.

More than 90 local residents announced their backing for Wandsworth’s court battle and 12 agreed to give witness statements with most volunteering to appear in front of magistrates if required.

Members of important local amenity groups like the Friends of Clapham Common and The Clapham Society also supported the challenge.

Environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “This is a sensible compromise agreement that will give residents living near Clapham Common some respite over the August bank holiday weekend.

“After Lambeth gave permission to the event organisers to turn up the music at last summer’s festival we were inundated with complaints from local residents who were being subjected to unreasonable noise levels.

“Having tried and failed to get Lambeth to pay attention to this problem and address the residents’ concerns, we were left with no alternative but to begin legal proceedings. I am delighted that the parties have now reached an agreement which allows the event to go ahead but limits the impact it will have on local people to a much more reasonable level.

“We were never against the festival taking place, but felt very strongly that local people should not be subject to incessant very loud, thumping bass music from lunchtime to 11pm for three days over the bank holiday weekend. I am pleased this threat to them has now been lifted.”

Lambeth has also agreed to install another noise monitoring site on Clapham Common Northside at Wandsworth’s request. Noise officers from Wandsworth will be closely monitoring sound levels to ensure the newly agreed limits are not exceeded.

Lambeth Council manages the whole of Clapham Common, even though more than half of it is geographically located in the borough of Wandsworth. The SW4 festival is attended by up 30,000 people.

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