‘Gin in the park’ event in Chichester given thumbs up

Gin in the park is due to be held in Chichester in September
Gin in the park is due to be held in Chichester in September

A gin event in Chichester’s Priory Park due to be held in September has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

The Great British Gin Festival took place in the city last June and several people involved in running the event are now looking to return with their own version called ‘gin in the park’.

It will be held on Saturday September 7 and Sunday September 8 and include a large marquee, live music, food, bars, garden games, masterclasses and trade stands.

A premises licence for the event was approved by Chichester District Council’s alcohol and entertainment licensing sub-committee yesterday (Thursday July 11.

The application received 13 letters of objection raising concerns about the potential for noise disruption and anti-social behaviour compared to two letters of support.

Council officers said no objections had been received to the licence for last year’s event, while it has no record of any complaints.

Nikki England, production and event manager for gin in the park, was also involved in running last year’s event.

She explained how the event would be slightly different from last year, with more of a focus on exhibitions and stands rather than it being a festival.

The live music aspect would be a ‘lot more toned down’, she said, and they were encouraging attendees to bring picnic blankets.

She described how the event was about people trying different types of gin and would ‘not be like going to the pub’, adding: “It’s quite a chilled event. It’s not the type of event where people are doing a lot of drinking or there’s shouting or swearing.”

One of the objectors was Chichester Central district councillor Martyn Bell, who said: “Priory Park is not a suitable venue for alcohol sales driven commercial events.”

He felt the park was not the right location for such an event given its close proximity to residential properties and raised concerns about the risk of anti-social behaviour and crime and disorder.

He also questioned the impact the event would have on children playing in the park and the effect on the city’s food and drink businesses.

But officers said none of the statutory consultees had raised any objections and after deliberation the three-member panel decided to approve the application.