Kirtlington Park festival License Application. Comments deadline 31st Dec

The Parish Council has been notified by Cherwell District Council’s Licensing Department, via our representing Councillor at CDC, of an application made by Kirtlington Park to hold a major public event on the grounds next summer. While the Parish Council had not been contacted prior to the date of application (and publishing in Bicester Advertiser), we have since reached out to the Park Management and pending an opportunity to meet, have invited them to outline their proposals at the next Parish Council Meeting on the 14th January 2020 (which is of course open to public attendance).  From the information we have received so far, this is proposed to be a major festival, primarily culturally-centred on socio-political and economic debate but with an element of live music,  of a similar scale to events held in Charlbury (Wilderness) and Great Tew (Cornbury) with the associated considerations, with the Licensing Dept. advising that the proposal is for a large festival including music and drama, and the sale of alcohol to take place over a Friday to Monday in the summer with up to 15,000 people anticipated over that 4-day period (i.e. not 15,000 each day), and intended to be repeated annually over the next 5 years. The proposed location covers a large part of the Kirtlington Park estate, and there will be provision for camping.

There are arguably many points for and against such an event to be held in Kirtlington and as the Parish Council would prefer to give proper consideration to any proposals of this scale, taking into account local views although we understand the village as a whole is largely unaware of the proposals, we feel it is important to advise parishioners of the means of – and deadline for – making comments on the application to the District Council, should anyone wish to.

It is important to note that any comment (concern or objection) raised to CDC must relate to the Licensing Objectives (such as the prevention of public nuisance such as noise levels, ensuring public safety e.g. traffic management, and ensuring the protection of children) to be valid, and also that the Park Management and Event Organisers have a Draft Management Plan in place (though not currently in the public domain, it is hoped these details would be shared no later than the next KPC Meeting), and that any such event – if granted permission – would be subject to a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) due to the scale, with that SAG to include the District Council’s Licensing Dept, Environmental Protection, Thames Valley Police, etc.

The deadline for comments is 31st December, with the Application reference at CDC being 19/PRM1663/LAPRE1, and can be viewed at:

https://www.publicaccess.cherwell.gov.uk/online-applications/licencingApplicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=Q215T2EM0PG00

While the application is open for consultation it is not possible for the public to submit comments via the website – these should be emailed to the Department at licensing@cherwell-dc.gov.uk citing the application number, 19/PRM1663/LAPRE1, or just “Kirtlington Park festival” in the subject line.  Please note that the submission of an “objection” is a means of expressing any concerns, to ensure there are robust plans in place and that all aspects are thoroughly examined – not a device to stop such an application – which would then pass to a CDC Committee hearing, for that purpose. If no (valid) concerns are received before the deadline, the Licence must be automatically granted, per due process.

The Parish Council will update on any further information received, however any member of the public is  entitled to phone (01295 753744) or email the Licensing Dept with questions regarding information on location, scale, approximate date etc.