Shoreline Festival: Concerns raised over Hayling Island event as organisers apply for licence

The event will be held in the seafront carparkThe event will be held in the seafront carpark
The event will be held in the seafront carpark
A festival organiser seeking an alcohol, music and film licence says he is not trying to create ‘Glastonbury’ in a carpark in Hayling Island after concerns were raised by residents.

Mr Gwynne-Smith, organiser of the proposed Shoreline Festival came up against a room full of objectors at the Havant Borough Council licensing meeting where he explained he wants to extend the popular Kitesurfing Armada festival, due to take place on September 12 -15, with watersports during the day and live music into the evening for around 5,000 people.

He said: “It’s not Glastonbury, it’s never been planned to be Glastonbury. We would like to bring back the event [Kitesurfing Armada] that was down there [Hayling Island].”

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An alcohol and music licence needs to be granted at the proposed venue at Chichester Avenue car park, but objectors told the committee meeting there is not enough space for the size of the festival and it was too close to residential homes. Objectors claimed there is insufficient parking, there would be noise nuisance, cleaning up of urination and vomiting would be required and there will be public disturbances with anti-social behaviour. They also objected to planned light and laser shows and said there would be damage to the water’s edge.

Ms Holloway said: “This is a nightmare for local homeowners. There is a strength of feeling and nervousness felt about this event from now. Hypertension levels are high. It is like the sword of Damocles.”The event would cause disruption for two weeks, the objectors said, with four days to set-up, the four-day event and then three days taking everything down. The objectors to the licence were reminded several times by Licensing sub-committee chair, Councillor David Keast (Con, Cowplain) that the panel only had jurisdiction to decide the four-day festival licence. While the licence officer said this committee did not decide location or capacity for the event.

Organiser of the Kitesurfing Armada festival, Dan Charlish, and advisor to Mr Gwynne-Smith said: “You cannot run this kind of event without having alcohol. You need a bar and live music.”

Both objectors and organisers said the ‘elephant in the room’ is the venue for the event, which was proposed by the borough council, but not the committee, which is next to the Hayling Island Light Railway line. Mr Robinson, representing the Hayling Island Light Railway Charitable trust said the 2ft gauge railway track is not on the festival plans and currently goes across the front of the stage. There were plans to host a steam engine event the same weekend, he said.

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The railway operates at weekends and three days a week during September and Mr Robinson said there was a health and safety issue because car drivers have previously parked on the tracks and driven in front of trains without knowing they are doing so. He said: “This is not a garden railway. It is a public railway.”

Mr Gwynne-Smith said: “Regarding safety management etc we will work with you [the residents] and the safety advisory group to deliver those documents. We can’t deliver those prior to a licence being granted when the event doesn’t technically exist. This is our chicken and egg situation.”

The licence being considered is for: Films being shown Thursday to Sunday 10am to 10pm each day. Live music: Friday to Sunday midday to 10pm with DJ music to run from after that, 10pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday and to 11pm on Sunday. Late Night Refreshment Friday to Saturday, 11pm to midnight. Alcohol to be sold Thursday 2pm to 11pm, Friday midday to midnight and Sunday midday to 11pm.The application is for nearly 5,000 tickets to be available per day, 1,500 being weekend camping tickets. There maybe approximately 500 staff and others employed for other duties, including emergency and coast guard. When making a decision to grant a licence the sub-committee must consider; The prevention of crime and disorder; Public safety; The prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

The decision to grant, or modify the conditions of the licence by altering, omitting, or adding to them; or rejecting the application will be published by Monday, March 25.