HFest to go ahead this weekend after premises license granted

PUBLISHED: 15:08 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:20 28 August 2019

Exmouth Town Hall. Ref exe 2525-43-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Exmouth Town Hall. Ref exe 2525-43-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

A family-friendly festival which uses music to help former marines and their families with rehabilitation is set to go ahead this weekend after being granted a premises licence.

The approval comes despite a number of residents surrounding Lower Halsdon Farm, where HFest is being held, raising concerns about possible noise and nuisance from the event.

There were fears of anti-social behaviour around the site and the impact the event would have on parking in the surrounding streets.

At a meeting on Wednesday (August 28) East Devon District Council's (EDDC) licensing and enforcement sub-committee decided to grant a time-limited premises licence.

This will allow for the provision of recorded and live music and the sale of alcohol for consumption on site.

Under the terms of the licence, amplified music will stop at 10.30pm on Friday (August 30) and Saturday (August 31) while the sale of alcohol will cease at 11pm both nights

Speaking at the meeting, George Nightingale, who is the designated premises supervisor for the event, said he has operated a number of community events in Exmouth in the last two and a half years.

He said he understood concerns about potential 'troublemakers' but said festival-goers will not be able to bring their own alcohol onto the site.

He said: "The event is called a festival but the truth of it is it's a family event for the The Royal Marines Charity."

Paul Fleet, organiser of the event, said the rehabilitation the festival provides to serving and former marines is just as vital as the funds raised for the charity.

He told the sub-committee that a Ferris wheel and helter-skelter, which were due to be part of the event, have been replaced by bouncy castles.

Catherine King, who has lived in neighbouring Halsdon Avenue for 25 years, said the music from last year's Hfest caused the floorboards in her house to 'shudder'.

The three-councillor committee granted the license with the following conditions:

Live and recorded music must finish by 10.30pm on both days, alcohol sales must cease by 11pm and the event be closed by midnight.

Organisers were also told there must be a minimum 30 minute respite between music acts on both days.

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