Red tape may put stop to charity gig

PUBLISHED: 09:22 24 May 2007 | UPDATED: 21:42 29 May 2010

Uttlesford District Council’s logo

Uttlesford District Council's logo

A CHARITY concert likely to raise more than £10,000 may have its plug pulled after a council decided the organiser needs planning permission – despite already having a premises licence. Alan Goldsmith, who has been organising concerts for 48 years, said h

A CHARITY concert likely to raise more than £10,000 may have its plug pulled after a council decided the organiser needs planning permission - despite already having a premises licence.

Alan Goldsmith, who has been organising concerts for 48 years, said he was furious Uttlesford District Council's officers have recommended refusal for the Presley Picnic event in the grounds of the 15th century Little Bardfield Hall.

Mr Goldsmith said: "I can't believe the council is trying to ban a charity event on the grounds that a bus service doesn't run to the hall. How does my concert differ to those at Audley End?

"I have got a premises licence, which has the approval of the police, highways, health and safety and the fire service and they had no problems with concerts being held at the hall.

"I must be the only person in the country who has a premises licence and is still being forced to get planning permission."

The event, which is costing £10,000 to put on, has been in the planning stages for nine months and is due to take place on Saturday August 25.

Tickets to the concert, which features America's Lee 'Memphis' King and his orchestra, will be limited to 500 specially invited guests, including celebrities, and cost £25 a piece.

There will be a raffle and tombola and all the money raised will go to the Helen Rollason charity.

"We could all get cancer and the money raised will go towards a £1.5m cancer care centre at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, which will benefit the whole of Essex. It's a very worthy cause," said Mr Goldsmith, who held three open air concerts last year, which benefited charities.

But a report by council officers to the development control committee, which was due to discuss the application at the time of going to print yesterday (Wednesday) states the holding of entertainment events for people not resident in the immediate vicinity is "not an appropriate form of use of land in the rural area".

It states it would be harmful to the landscape and the tranquility of the countryside and would be detrimental to the safe conditions on the highway.

The committee was told a similar event took place without planning consent last year and there were several complaints about noise.

Of Mr Goldsmith's comparison to concerts at Audley End, the report claimed that as Audley End House is open to the public on a regular basis, public entertainment is part of its normal operation. This is not the case for Little Bardfield Hall, which is a private home.

The council has received two letters of support for the licence and six letters of objection.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Dunmow Broadcast