Council formally objects to plan for ‘noisy’ Clapham Common music festival

Published: 18 November 2016

Wandsworth Council has formally objected to plans for a three day music festival on Clapham Common next summer.

The objection has been submitted to Lambeth Council which manages the whole of the common, even though more than half of it is geographically located in the borough of Wandsworth.

The objection to the SW4 Festival being staged as currently proposed is on the grounds of excessive noise and the likely disturbance it will cause to Wandsworth residents.

Last summer Lambeth relaxed the noise limits for its events on the common meaning that music festivals could be much louder than in previous years.

This led to a huge increase in the number of noise complaints for the most recent SW4 Festival compared to the summer of 2015. The total number of complaints for 2016  was around 600 per cent higher than the previous year.

Lambeth is currently considering whether or not to approve the 2017 event.

Wandsworth’s formal written objection states: “The current application has not addressed the significant increase in the number of complaints received during the 2016 event. Under the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 a Licensee should take all reasonable steps to ensure that amplified music will not cause a nuisance to nearby residents, and it is of concern that there are no additional control measures proposed to address this, in the application for 2017, given the significant concerns raised by local residents in 2016.”

Wandsworth says the event should be restricted to two days not three and that noise levels should be pegged back to the 2015 limits.

The council’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We are obviously concerned that next summer’s event is likely to cause a huge amount of disturbance to the many thousands of people living close to the common that we represent.

“By permitting much louder noise levels, Lambeth is showing little regard for people living close by, especially those with young families.

“Last summer’s festival was permitted to be much louder than the previous year and this had the inevitable effect of generating six times as many noise complaints.

“If they care about the wellbeing and comfort of people living close to the common, not just in our borough but in their own too, councillors in Lambeth must restrict next summer’s event to just two days and lower the permitted noise levels back to the 2015 limits.

“Ours is a reasonable compromise that allows Lambeth to stage the event and generate extra revenue, allows music fans to watch and enjoy their favourite bands, but also gives local people some respite from the noisy excesses of this year’s festival.”

The Lambeth Council licensing meeting to determine the application is open to the public and will take place at 7pm on December 6, at Lambeth’s offices in Canterbury Crescent, Brixton SW9 7QE.