Lytham Festival Extension
Defend Lytham has written to the Fylde Council Licencing Authority to object to the proposed temporary extension of next year’s Lytham Festival to 2 weeks.
We have done this having weighed up the commercial benefits to Lytham that the festival does bring against the impacts that a one week extension of the festival will have on local residents.
We are concerned that this extension and its fellow development at Lytham Hall this year will turn out to be the thin end of the wedge.
Our objection letter is shown below:
Application is for a new Premises Licence for the Lytham Green Event Site to take effect for 10 (ten) event days within a 2 (two) week period in 2022 and for a capacity of 19,999
The Defend Lytham committee has decided we that should write to ask that this extension to two weeks should not be allowed.
Lytham Festival has grown from being a 1 day event when it was first conceived to being a 1 week event currently and already appears to have spawned a further 1 week child event at Lytham Hall. The current licence allows the operators to stage a festival of between three and five days on Lytham Green. The licence already runs to 2028.
Whilst acknowledging the beneficial effect that these events undoubtedly have for local traders,
bars and restaurants, and accommodation providers, this has to be balanced with the reasonable right of local residents to the peaceful enjoyment of their properties.
Even Peter Taylor , one of the festival’s own organisers speaking in 2019, acknowledged the
problems that even the existing 5 day festival causes: “I think five days is our maximum. Lytham is a small town and the festival does put a strain on the infrastructure”.
Fylde Council’s own website makes it clear that “The five-day event draws crowds of around 100,000 people to the Lancashire coastal town each year and an expansion to 10 nights of live music would see that number double”.
The impact in a town of about 9,000 people (Clifton and St John’s wards total) of a sudden influx of up to 20,000 visitors is massive and over-bearing, even allowing for the fact that some of those attending will be local residents.
The cumulative impact of these now multiple and increased capacity festivals creates an inevitable level of “public nuisance” in spite of their obvious positive economic impact for local businesses. It should not need to be said that economic impacts are not the only yardstick by which public benefit / well-being should be measured by our councillors and officers when deciding on the interests of the public who elect and pay them.
A 2 week festival would put large areas of Lytham Green out of bounds to residents for a protracted period and the damage that is done to the Green itself takes weeks if not months to remediate and is unacceptable.
The hours of operation are lengthy and late with the noise emanating from the festival clearly
audible from the edges of Lytham. Nearer to they must be intolerable for those not wishing to
“enjoy” whatever acts have been selected by the promoters. Doubling the period of this significant noise pollution is not acceptable.
The lighting adds to the already significant light pollution in the area, and in spite of the mitigation claimed in the application litter is a perennial issue associated with this festival.
The festival also has other impacts on residents such as the proposed closure of one side of Warton Street which will cause great inconvenience to residents there.
We are not against the festival per se, but, in spite of the mitigations outlined, antisocial behaviour including fights fueled by alcohol and bottles of urine being thrown around the crowd have still been a “feature” of some nights. Concerns have also been expressed to us about sheer volume of people in one place and potential problems with access for emergency services should they be required. In addition comments have been passed on to us about the toilet facilities being inadequate.
We would suggest that the applicant be restricted to the current 1 week licence if they want to hold the Festival on the Green in order to allow the town to benefit from the commercially positive aspects of the festival whilst balancing the interests and rights of local residents to peaceful enjoyment of our properties.
Alternatively the organisers might like to consider organising a two week festival in a rural location where traffic, parking, and noise might be less on an issue and affect far fewer Fylde residents. Fylde’s own Glastonbury equivalent might be the perfect solution to the problem. You might even get a contribution from central government for actually doing some “Levelling Up” for the North of England.
The Licencing Meeting will take place on 2nd Sep 2021 – 10:00
Further details can be found here