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Cancelled Cornwall festival hopes to return next year

Cancelled Cornwall festival hopes to return next year

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 4:08pm 1st October 2019. (Updated at 11:15am 2nd October 2019)

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Organisers of a festival which was forced to pull the plug just two weeks before it was due to open its doors is set to return next year.

Porthilly Spirit had been due to take place on a farm on the north Cornwall coast near Rock in May but was cancelled after Cornwall Council refused to grant a licence.

The festival which was due to have music headliners including Tom Odell and Villagers was also set to have pop-up restaurants, sports and health and wellvbeing workshops.

However it attracted dozens of objections from people concerned about the impact of traffic in the area on roads which are narrow.

Cornwall Council’s licensing committee refused a licence saying that the traffic management plan was insufficient.

While the public event was cancelled, the organisers did still have an event held as a private party which did feature a performance from Tom Odell.

Porthilly Spirit

Next week the organisers will return to the council’s licensing committee in the hope of securing a licence to hold Porthilly Spirit in May 2020.

They want to have a 3,000 capacity event – this number includes all staff and entertainers. The application is to hold the event annually on the second May bank holiday weekend for four days. Live music will only happen on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the event.

A report going to the committee states that the council has received 65 objections and 35 letters of support for the application.

The council’s environmental protection team has raised no objection and said that a noise management plan had been provided by the organisers and it was satisfied with the information included.

Many of the objectors have again raised concerns about traffic which would be generated by the festival highlighting that the roads to the site are narrow and, in places, single track.

They also highlight that the event is planned for a bank holiday weekend when there will already be high levels of traffic from tourists visiting the area.

A common statement from the objectors is that the roads remain unchanged from the previous application.

"I cannot see how the event organisers hope to cope with the thousands of cars and campervans that will traverse the lanes around Trefresa Farm without blocking the public highway for other road users who need to use those roads."

Objector, Fiona Scott

Porthilly Spirit – View From Trefresa Farm

Supporters say that the festival will provide a boost to local businesses and will also provide a new festival for families.

One supporter said that the previous application had attracted “serious and perhaps unfounded concerns” and that the public consultation resulted in “an embarrassing amount of unfounded and generic stereotypes of much bigger festivals being used to gang up against a small event such as Porthilly Spirit”.

“Our aim is to create a celebration of the best of Cornwall, here at Trefresa Farm.

“Porthilly Spirit is about bringing the community together, to share in the experiences, culture and food that can only be found in this wonderful part of the world. And we hope to do exactly that in May 2020.

“We have been working with all relevant agencies and the local authority since our application for the 2019 event, to address the points raised in the previous licensing process. As a result, we have submitted extensive new plans and documentation to Cornwall Council for consideration.

“If the licence is approved, we will be engaging with local suppliers, artists, performers, musicians and chefs to develop an exemplary programme of family-friendly entertainment. This will encompass all the elements you’d find at an amazing village fête, alongside world-class theatrical performances and feasts from the country’s best chefs – all of whom share a passion for our county.

“I would like to thank all those who have expressed support for our vision, and hope to welcome everyone to Trefresa Farm in 2020.”

Event organiser and owner of the site, Will Herrmann

Cornwall Council’s licensing act sub-committee will meet to decide the application on Thursday October 10th.

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