Licence considered for Shoreham Airport music festival

Shoreham Airport, with Lancing College in the distance
Shoreham Airport, with Lancing College in the distance

STRONG objections have been put to councillors deciding on a licence for a music festival at Shoreham Airport.

No decision as yet been made as the meeting was called to a halt just after 11pm yesterday due to the time.

It will recommence with questions to the organisers at Adur Civic Centre at 7pm tonight, then Adur District Council’s licensing committee will make its decision in private.

Mr Peter Saville, barrister for Sussex Police, said: “This is an untried, untested site for an event of this sort. There is much reference to Shoreham Airshow. The police say that this proposed use of Shoreham Airport are as different as chalk and cheese.”

The police asked for a cap on attendance of 35,000 per day and said it should end at 11pm at the latest.

They also requested that an age-related wristband system be made a condition of any licence, so under-age drinkers could be easily identified.

Rob Ballantine, director of SJM Concerts, called the police approach ‘muddled’ and said the opinions expressed at the meeting flew in the face of agreements made at the Safety Advisory Group.

He said the intention was to open the gates at 2pm and have bands playing until 11pm, followed by a DJ until 3am to keep crowds entertained and stagger the numbers leaving the site.

The main transport would be buses, which would follow a circuitous route around the airport and line-up on the runway.

Residents raised concerns about noise and vibration, as well as traffic, parking and anti-social behaviour.

Dogs Trust said there were routinely 65 dogs at the rehoming centre, adjacent to the airport, and raised strong objections because of the effect on their welfare.

Lancing College also opposed the festival, saying students would be in the middle of their A-levels and as half of them were boarders, it would seriously affect them.

Both also said they had events planned the same weekend as the proposed festival, June 6 to 7, which had long been in their diaries.

More to follow tomorrow and the full story in next week’s Herald.