Express & Star

Music festival refused permission by Lichfield District Council after previous events sparked noise complaints from miles away

A woodland music festival due to be staged next month has been refused permission by Lichfield District Council after previous events sparked noise complaints from residents more than two miles away.

A Google Street View Image Of Lichfield District Council House.

Wibbly Woods was set to return to Fradley Woods from July 27 to 30, bringing a mix of new music, dance and arts for up to 499 people.

But a temporary event notice met with opposition from Lichfield District Council’s environmental health department because of concerns about potential public nuisance. Organisers Wibbly Limited sought permission to offer music and a bar from until 4am – and it was the finishing time that sparked concerns, members of the authority’s Licensing and Consents Appeals Committee heard on Friday (June 16).

Environmental Protection and Housing Manager Jack Twomey said: “This event took place in 2021 and 2022 and on both occasions there were complaints; we had seven in 2021 and five in 2022. One complaint came from a representative of a local static caravan area who said they were complaining on behalf of many residents and I had a complaint from Wychnor and one from Alrewas – 2.25 miles away.

“If an event like this took place until 11pm it would comply. The issue here is the 4am finish.

“The code states if it’s after 11pm music should not be audible in a noise-sensitive premises with windows open for ventilation. I am of the opinion it can’t be complied with in this location continuing until 4am.”

Event organisers said a number of changes had been made to the site layout as well as improvements to noise control measure since last year however. Applicant Bertie Benson said: “We understand we got an objection and we are here today to try and prove how we can work with you to ensure it is not a nuisance to the local area.

“We have a noise management plan showing how we are going to monitor noise levels. We have two main stages and a there is a stage at the bar and we have completely changed the system this year.

“We can monitor the sound at each stage and around the local area, 0.5miles and one mile around. If it needs to come down we can reduce frequency and the HS2 bund is going to help reduce the sound levels.”

Rufus Williams added: “It’s a young festival and it’s employing a lot of people. It stands to benefit a lot of people round here and it’s small – 499 people – whereas Bearded Theory (held at Catton Hall, near Alrewas) is 15,000.

“We want to work with you to make this good for the local people round here. I hope you can understand we are trying our hardest.”

But committee members decided not to allow the event to go ahead following Friday’s hearing. The applicant will be able to appeal against this decision.