FROM THE BUSINESS DESK: Minority should not dictate Wild Life conditions

W24C wild life festival in Shoreham on June 6/7 SUS-150906-135634001
W24C wild life festival in Shoreham on June 6/7 SUS-150906-135634001

I MAY be called a grumpy old man on young shoulders but I could not think of anything worse than attending a music festival.

Clearly I am in the minority, considering the thousands that flocked to Wild Life festival in June and, looking back, the event was a fantastic coup for Shoreham Airport.

It seems that another group in the minority are those who lodged complaints over noise issues during the inaugural event.

A licensing review has been triggered following the concerns, due to be heard on Tuesday.

The review has been lodged through a democratic process – and it is right that councillors should discuss concerns.

But if the views of a few outweigh those of the many, the result will not be just.

Less than 50 official complaints were lodged throughout the weekend, out of thousands of residents surrounding the airport.

My major issue with the complaints stems from conclusions in the report of the senior environmental health officer, who attended properties of some of those who had objected during the event.

His observations are telling. “My own subjective opinion was that the noise was audible but it was not excessive,” he writes, adding he could hold a normal conversation without raising his voice.

Although he does not mention the proximity of the property in question, it was one which drew a complaint.

Further evidence given of noise recordings shows the levels were not only within those permitted in the licence but on or below that called for in the review.

If that is the case, what the Shoreham Society seeks is surely fruitless.

For me, the environmental health officer hits the nail on the head in saying the event is only for two days and should not, therefore, be considered a public nuisance.

Shoreham is a wonderful place to live and two days of inconvenience is really a small price to pay.

From a business perspective, I was sceptical of claims it would bring at least £1million of revenue for the local economy.

But given the huge numbers attending the event, it is unlikely not to have had a positive effect for many traders.

The viability of the airport – a treasured asset of our area – will only be boosted by attracting major events like Wild Life.

The event’s licence already has strict conditions which should not be altered, allowing the majority to continue to enjoy it.