Villagers’ fears on music and science festival plan
RESIDENTS of a rural village have expressed fears over a forthcoming music and science festival in their community.
More than 15,000 music and science fans are set to descend on Lower Withington for the Bluedot Festival.
The three-day event in the grounds of Jodrell Bank will see big name bands perform including electronic music legend JeanMichel Jarre, as well as lectures, comedy, art installations, a planetarium and even robot workshops.
But residents of the village, which has a population of 500, are worried at the prospect of vast numbers of revellers arriving in the area, booze being on sale into the small hours and the impact on the community, farmers and the Emergency Services.
Lower Withington Parish Council wrote to Cheshire East Council expressing ‘real concerns’ of the scale, timing and location of the festival.
The letter by chairman Dr Paul Duffy was considered by the council’s licencing committee, which granted the licence for the event.
Dr Duffy said the concern was that the festival would have a ‘detrimental impact’ on residents, adding: “The parish council have no objection to the event taking place and realise that it can be a great experience for those attending. We would just like to ensure the parish doesn’t experience too much disruption to their day to day life and that event controllers, by curtailing the hours that they have asked for, ensure we can all work and live together without too many problems.”
The application from Bluedot was originally to sell alcohol until 4am, but in light of complaints it amended the limit to 3am.
But the council didn’t feel it went far enough and restricted booze sales to 2am. A spokesman for Bluedot, which has run the successful Live from Jodrell Bank series since 2011, said it had good relationship with residents, farms and businesses, adding: “We want to establish bluedot as an internationally acclaimed festival taking place annually at Jodrell Bank, in order for this to happen we need the support of local businesses and residents.”
Bluedot has promised to write to all residents giving them more information and a 24 hour hotline number to deal with their complaints.
The firm have also promised to hold a de-brief with residents ahead of any 2017 event.
●● The Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank