Concerns over plans for year-round entertainment events at Leonardslee Gardens

Concerns are being raised over an application for a year-round licence for events to be staged on land at Leonardslee Gardens.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 12:43 pm

Owners of the historic gardens at Lower Beeding have applied to Horsham District Council for a permanent alcohol license from Monday to Sunday from 12 noon to 11pm to allow year-round events to take place at the gardens’ deer park.

They would include live outdoor music events, dance events, outdoor films and other entertainment.

But objections are being put forward by local residents and the Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England - CPRE

DM1940878a.jpg. Leonardslee Lakes Gardens, Lower Beeding, reopens. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-190404-141103008

Michael Prideaux, who lives near the gardens, says the application is ‘too broad’ and is concerned about noise and light pollution from events being staged there.

“The noise from last year’s ‘Leonardslee Illuminated’ was intolerable,” he said. “And they left floodlights on the whole time with a lurid glow all night disturbing anyone who lives near there and nocturnal wildlife.”

The CPRE is also concerned about noise emissions from sound systems and power generators and from vehicles being driven to and from events, as well as light pollution in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

In a letter of objection to the council, the CPRE says: “Information and data are needed and should be provided to enable the impact of noise and artificial-light emissions on the amenity, health, wellbeing, and tranquillity of people outside of the site to be assessed and considered in the deciding of the application.”

But Lenoardslee managers say that event organisers would ensure that all noise and sound levels during the day and after dark would be kept to a minimum and that events would finish by 9pm or earlier.

And they say that no more than 12 events would take place a year.

However, the CPRE says that if the licence were granted, there would be no constraints on the number of days on which events could be held because some events could be held over several days.

It fears there could be “no respite and considerable public nuisance in consequence.”