Green light for Todd in the Hole festival near Stevenage despite noise concerns

PUBLISHED: 08:30 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:32 06 February 2019

The Counterfeit Stones performing at the first Todd in the Hole Festival. Picture: Grant McGonagle

The Counterfeit Stones performing at the first Todd in the Hole Festival. Picture: Grant McGonagle

Grant McGonagle

A three-day music festival is set to return to a quiet village this summer, despite residents’ fears about noise and traffic.

Todd in the Hole Festival co-founder David Nye, manager Nicola Gates and co-founder Mark Watts. Picture: Todd in the HoleTodd in the Hole Festival co-founder David Nye, manager Nicola Gates and co-founder Mark Watts. Picture: Todd in the Hole

Held for the first time last year, Todd in the Hole in Todds Green near Stevenage features tribute bands and local musicians, and this year there are plans to add in children’s entertainment and a rally of classic motorbikes, as well as encourage festival goers to camp at the Bury Wood site.

North Herts District Council’s Licensing Committee has now given the go-ahead for it to become an annual three-day event, and this year’s festival will take place from July 19 to 21.

However, after hearing residents’ fears about noise and traffic, the organisers were told they would have to stop bar sales and entertainment earlier than their intended 2am. The committee ruled that the bars must close at midnight and music cease at 1am.

Committee chairman Jim McNally said: “We believe the granting of the application with the conditions applied will mean both the local community and the promoters will benefit.”

Children playing in the hay at the first Todd in the Hole FestivalChildren playing in the hay at the first Todd in the Hole Festival

The festival is the brainchild of land owner Mark Watts and local businessman David Nye, who runs the Great British Sausage Company.

David told the committee last year’s Todd in the Hole had run without complaint and said it was in response to feedback that they had drawn up plans to extend the festival to include a third day and to open up the festival to campers.

Residents at the hearing appealed to the committee to turn down the application amid fears the event would cause gridlock and too much noise until the early hours.

Written objections were also made against the late-night music and sale of alcohol, increased traffic and no free parking.

But the committee heard vehicles would access the site from Blakemore End Road this year, to keep traffic away from the more residential area, and a taxi rank and bus shuttle service would operate.

They also heard from sound consultant Ross Sharples, who had conducted tests that suggested the sound from the marquee would not bother residents – even those living closest to the festival site.

He said sound consultants would be on-site throughout the festival to regularly monitor noise levels and adjust them if high enough to cause a disturbance.

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