Since Lovebox and Field Day made applications to Lambeth last autumn to hold events in Brockwell Park, we have been working hard to ensure residents’ views are listened to. We have knocked on doors in the local area, worked closely with community and park
groups, and organised a public meeting last December to consult Thurlow Park
Reflecting on what you told us, we established some conditions which we felt large events in Brockwell Park ought to meet – these are set out on our blog here.
In January we were able to successfully push for Lovebox to be turned down as we did not feel that they met our conditions and they were not showing willingness to compromise on their plans.
In March, again reflecting what you have told us, we objected to Field Day being granted a licence unless certain strict conditions were met. Our submission to the Licensing Committee called for shorter opening hours, reduced noise levels and a better-managed exit from the park, in recognition of the fact there was going to be a lot of disruption to local area and that people such as shift workers and children doing their GCSE exams needed better protection.
We fought your case hard and spoke on residents’ behalf at the Licensing Committee hearing. The level of scrutiny of the organisers and the number of residents who spoke meant the hearing went on until midnight.
Cllr Fred Cowell speaking at the Licensing Committee hearing
After a further five days deliberation, the Licensing Committee have decided to award Field Day a one year licence to hold the event in Brockwell Park, subject to certain
conditions. You can view the full decision on Lambeth’s licensing site.
Our views of the decision are:
- We had a degree of success in securing an enhanced security plan that is far in excess of anything at previous events in the park.
- We are disappointed that the hours have not been reduced as significantly as we asked for, but were able to secure a partial reduction in opening times on Friday and Saturday and a fuller reduction on Sunday evening so that alcohol sales end at 9pm and music will end at 9.30pm.
- Most importantly the licence is for this year only and we have secured a post-festival consultation at which we will review how it went and, if necessary, block it from ever coming to the park again.
Outside of the licensing process, we have secured a commitment to review the parks events policy later this year, including looking at a cap on overall numbers at events and a trigger for public consultation, which would affect any event applications for 2019.
In the short term events provide a means of managing the vast funding shortfall that parks are facing as a result of the huge cuts to local authority grants imposed by the
Tory government. In the medium to long term, we want to move away from music festivals as a source of income and are working with park groups and the Council on a project to redevelop Brockwell Hall to allow it to be used for weddings. Brockwell Park is at the very heart of our community and we remain committed to safeguarding it with tangible action not empty promises.