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New festival in Cornwall given the green light

New festival in Cornwall given the green light

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 1:08pm 14th October 2019.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

A new music, food and wellbeing festival will be held for the first time next year after being granted a licence.

Porthilly Spirit will be held at Trefresa Farm at Rock next May after Cornwall Council agreed to grant a licence.

However the council’s licensing act sub-committee applied a number of conditions in order to grant a licence including reducing the capacity of the event and bringing forward the end time for entertainment.

During an almost seven-hour meeting at the council offices in St Austell the committee heard from the applicants and a number of objectors to the event.

The application was a second attempt to secure a licence for the festival which this year had to be cancelled just weeks before gates opened after the council refused to grant a licence.

This year the organisers hosted a private party at the festival site which featured a performance from original festival headline music act Tom Odell.

Porthilly Spirit

Will Herrmann, organiser of the event and co-owner of the farm, told the committee that the festival was part of wider plans for Trefresa Farm which include a hotel, spa and cultural centre.

His representatives said there had been some misunderstandings and misinformation about the festival which was geared towards young families and had a wide range of activities for all ages and was not focused entirely on music.

The event is planning to have health and wellbeing workshops along with bouquet making, wine tasting, yoga, foraging, archery, meditation and kitemaking.

However objectors said they had serious concerns about the traffic management of the event and about noise and disturbance.

They said the roads around the site were unsuitable for large volumes of traffic and added that the area would already be busy as the festival is planned for the late May bank holiday weekend.

Objector Simon Pain said: “The idea of the festival is great but the only problem is that the location is totall unsuitable.”

Residents also said there had been noise disturbance from the private party held this year and they feared it would be worse with the full festival.

They said a “noise hotline” which had been set up for any complaints this year had gone unanswered and this did not bode well for the main event.

The organisers apologised for the hotline not working, explaining that they had set up a pay-as-you-go phone which had not been registered so no calls were registered.

Porthilly Spirit

In their initial decision the committee agreed to grant a licence but to reduce the capacity from the requested 3,000 to 2,000.

They also said entertainment could operate from 11am to 11.30pm on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday – the original application was to end at 12.30am.

And councillors said the alcohol licence could operate from 11am to 11pm and not 2am as applied for.

All the activities and alcohol licence would finish at 3pm on the Monday of the festival.

The applicants said they would agree to reducing the capacity and to stop entertainment at 11.30pm but asked if films could be shown until 2am. They said no films of rock concerts or music videos would be shown.

They also asked that the alcohol licence be extended to midnight on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the event.

The committee agreed and said “these conditions will alleviate a number of the concerns that were expressed”.

After the hearing, Mr Herrmann said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the result. It was achieved with a great deal of effort, hard work and communication by the team. We will now move forward to deliver a fantastic event in May 2020.

“We understand the concerns of the objectors, and in response we feel we have come up with a sensible and responsible plan to deliver the festival which is considerate of our neighbours and the local community. We hope they come along and enjoy it, and give us a chance to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions which have been raised during the licensing process.

“I am now really excited that we can start work on planning the festival, and I’m looking forward to welcoming people to the farm in 2020.”

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