Festival space in Aldingbourne gets green light

A picture from the companies website shows what could be in store for the festival goers...
A picture from the companies website shows what could be in store for the festival goers...

A family-orientated festival with a focus of sustainability, preservation and conservation has been approved by the district council's licensing committee.

Wild Field Events Ltd applied for a new premises licence for a festival space which was given the go-ahead this afternoon (Thursday July 11).

Members of the alcohol and entertainment licensing sub-committee, cllr Henry Potter, cllr Alan Sutton, cllr Susan Taylor, heard arguments in support and in objection the the application.

Part of the licence includes permission to sell alcohol for consumption on and off the premises and the performance of plays, live music, dance, as well as putting on films, recorded music and late night refreshment.

Sue O’Keeffe has more than 30 years experience in event organising. She set up the company Wild Field Events Ltd with the aim of putting on family-friendly festivals

“I’m pleased to get the licence. It’s really exciting. It’s a new business venture for me and we have had a really positive response to the event.”

“It’s for young families to be together and for the activities to be suitable for families, not just the children.

“There are very few festivals that are aimed to attract this age bracket.”

The festival would take place in land south of Tangmere Airfield, known as Holly Tree Field, and would include use for corporate days out, eco-weddings, themed children’s parties, and a larger family-orientated festival which would cater for up to 2,500 people.

The festival was originally to be held this August but was cancelled due to poor ticket sales. Sue said they would looking to have events up an running in 2020.

The land spans 28 acres, 1.5 of which would be used for the festival area, the rest for parking and camping.

Part of the licence includes permission to sell alcohol for consumption on and off the premises and the performance of plays, live music, dance, as well as putting on films, recorded music and late night refreshment.

While the application was given the green light, it was not without criticism, resident Nigel Horwell shared concerns about traffic in the area.

He said: "The amount of traffic going down there now is intolerable and if the event brings in 2,500 people, that would be in excess of 2,000 cars. 2,000 cars on that road would be mayhem."

Cllr Simon Oakely of Tangmere Parish Council pointed out the issues around Thursday's nightclub and inebriated people walking along busy roads.

He also raised concerns about the alcohol for sale for 'off-site' consumption.

"Sale of alcohol for off-site consumption — I don't see the reason why that is in there."

The applicant, Mrs O'Keeffe responded by saying the sale for off-site consumption would be sealed products primarily sold as gifts.

"But the capability will be there and there's a chance they will change their minds."

The application did get backing from one member of the public who attended the meeting. Wendy Berry said: "I work with Sue and I'm in support of the application. She is very good at organising events and she is very meticulous.

"I know that she is perfectly capable of putting of putting on a successful event for the area."

Find out more about the Wild Field Events, visit: www.wildfieldevents.com