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Nearly Festival to stay at Abbey Gardens

PUBLISHED: 16:30 20 August 2019

A packed Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds at the weekend for the Nearly Festival of music and entertainment.

Nearly Madness - A Special Kinda Madness on stage

PICTURE: Andy Abbott

A packed Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds at the weekend for the Nearly Festival of music and entertainment. Nearly Madness - A Special Kinda Madness on stage PICTURE: Andy Abbott

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Campaigners have won their fight to keep a popular tribute act festival in Bury St Edmunds' Abbey Gardens.

A Madness tribute act performs at the Nearly Festival in 2018 

PICTURE: Andy AbbottA Madness tribute act performs at the Nearly Festival in 2018 PICTURE: Andy Abbott

There were fears the Nearly Festival would have to move to another venue in the town after complaints from some nearby residents about noise.

The festival, which features a host of top tribute acts, took place in June and was a sell-out, bringing thousands of people into the town.

But following the complaints it was feared it may have to move to Nowton Park in the town, which supporters of the event said would be unsuitable.

However West Suffolk Council said this week that the festval would be able to stay at Abbey Gardens after tests showed the noise levels complied with guidelines.

A Bruno Mars tribute act at the festival in 2018 PICTURE: Andy AbbottA Bruno Mars tribute act at the festival in 2018 PICTURE: Andy Abbott

A West Suffolk Council spokesman said: "The council monitored noise levels at the event and has looked thoroughly into these complaints.

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"It is the opinion of the Public Health and Housing Service that the festival did not constitute a statutory nuisance and that we have therefore decided the event will be allowed to continue, subject to conditions which are imposed to both protect event goers and neighbouring residents."

Nikki Mellor, of Save the Bury St Edmunds Nearly Festival support group, said they were delighted at the decision.

"Our group very much appreciates the hard work done by the council and we are delighted they have decided to allow music events to continue in the Abbey Gardens," she said.

"The Nearly Festival provides a wonderful opportunity for families and those with disabilities to experience the joy these type of events bring to our town.

"Many people, including many disabled, would not be able to get to Nowton Park or concerts further afield.

"The Abbey Gardens is a public space and many big music events have been held there for many years. We are delighted that these will continue."

West Suffolk Council said the guidelines for noise in Abbey Gardens are for 65 decibels over a 15-minute average one metre from the façade of sensitive properties.

Ms Mellor had previously argued that to move the Nearly festival on the grounds of noise would have opened up "a can of worms" for other events such as the annual fireworks display.

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