Council grants Ightenhill gig license despite public outcry

DJ Rob Tissera is set to perform at the event.
DJ Rob Tissera is set to perform at the event.

Despite dissent from local residents, the Drop the Beat festival has been granted a license to stage the event in Ightenhill later this month after a sub-committee meeting at Burnley Town Hall.

Representatives for both the objecting residents and the applicants spoke at the meeting earlier today, which concerned an application lodged by Hunters Oak Limited and Chris Smith of Hunters Oak Farm.

The successful application grants the organisers - who are lead by Craig Kennedy and who approached Mr Smith to host the festival after he expressed a desire to diversify his income streams - license to sell alcohol and host live music on the premises, much to the chagrin of concerned residents.

"It [will] have a catastrophic impact on the locals," said Ightenhill parish councillor, Tony Mitchell prior to the verdict being passed. "The area's just not made for that traffic traipsing through.

"It could cause a heck of a lot of interruption to people's lives," Tony added. "It's just not the right place."

After deliberating for over an hour, Burnley Borough Council's committee granted the application, which was deemed as being more than valid and against which all objections were found to be unsubstantial.

Mr Smith can now host one larger event of more than 350 and up to 5,000 people per annum - with the Drop the Beat festival constituting this year's larger event - as well as up to seven smaller events of up to 350 people.

Troubled by the prospect of such a potentially invasive event - which is set to host between 800 and 1,000 people - taking place on their doorstep, up to 24 objections were lodged by Ightenhill residents, while a petition boasting 50 signatures was also submitted.

But despite their protestations, the committee ruled in favour of the applicant, citing the support of local authorities - including police, environmental officials, and other emergency services - for the application's validity and the fact that it did no breach the licensing objectives which determine whether an application is granted.

The Drop the Beat festival, which has already sold a considerable number of tickets, will take place on Mr Smith's property between Ightenhill Park Lane and Cornfield Grove on Saturday, June 24th.