Grumblings from Portsmouth military base could thwart community art venue’s fundraiser

Victoria Park
Victoria Park
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COMPLAINTS from a city military base could sabotage a community art venue’s bid to raise funds towards its survival.

The Lodge Arts Centre & Park Cafe has applied to the council’s licensing team to stage a fundraiser outside on Victoria Park from 7pm on February 12 through to 4am.

We only have the problems in the summer, when the naval base’s windows are open and they are trying to sleep and the traffic has died down late at night.

Mark Lewis

But the council’s environmental health team does not want the event to happen – because of complaints in the past from nearby HMS Nelson about noise and anti-social behaviour.

Objecting, environment protection officer Richard Maidment said: ‘I wish to object to the temporary event notice on the grounds of prevention of public nuisance due to a history of complaints from the wardroom of HMS Nelson regarding excessive noise from live bands and recorded music being played at this venue into the early hours of the morning.’

Yet time to raise cash is running out for the Lodge – which has been told by the council it needs to find a new home because it is using its building in future as a centre helping adults with learning disabilities into work.

Fifty-nine per cent of respondents said they disagreed with proposals to widen the paths near the Guildhall to allow more pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles used for running events.

Lodge Arts operator Mark Lewis said: ‘We have only had three of four unofficial complaints in 17 years.

‘What that means is the naval base has popped over and asked for us to turn it down, which we did, or e-mailing us in the days after to complain, and we then apologised and sorted the problems.

‘And one from environmental health which they said wasn’t an official complaint because we didn’t do the decibel reading.

‘We only have the problems in the summer.

That’s when the naval base’s windows are open and they are trying to sleep and the traffic has died down late at night.’

A decision over the Lodge’s event bid will be made on Monday.