Bury St Edmunds: Noise complaint lodged ahead of Abbeyfest 2013

Abbeyfest in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds

Abbeyfest in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds

ORGANISERS of Abbeyfest say they are confident this year’s event will go ahead, despite an objection about noise.

An application for the event, due to be held in Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds, from July 19 to July 21, will be discussed by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Licensing Act Sub-Committee after complaints that last year’s event shook homes and triggered security alarms.

The complaint comes as organisers, Original Entertainment Programming Ltd (OEP), announced that 10CC will be headlining on the Sunday evening.

One person, who lives near Abbey Gardens, said they were “subjected” to amplified music for six to seven hours each day that was “unacceptable in its volume and duration”.

The documents state that last year’s event gave rise to several noise complaints and that no assessment has been made by the applicant of existing background noise levels or of likely noise levels for July’s event.

A complaint states: “The vibrations, caused by the intensity of the amplified sound shook our home, neighbours homes and parts of the Scheduled Ancient Monument of St Edmund’s Abbey. Our house alarm could not be set without being triggered by the vibration.”

The committee, which meets on April 23, has the power to reject the application but John Hessenthaler of OEP Live! said he was not unduly concerned.

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He added: “I’m not really worried; what will be, will be. We have done everything necessary to deal with the licence as we have done in the past.”

Mr Hessenthaler said there was no evidence to suggest that previous events had caused damage to homes or the remains of the Abbey.

“As far as the park is going, there has been no damage, otherwise English Heritage would have been on to me”, he said.

“While I sympathise, of course, we are doing this event in the park in a very controlled way.

“We are stopping the noise well before the licence hours – 10pm on a Sunday and 10.30pm on a Friday.”

He added that any move to stop the event would be a “real shame”.

Festival organisers announced yesterday that 10CC, famed for Rubber Bullets, would play Sunday. Premier tribute acts T.Rextasy and Only One Direction have also been confirmed.

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