Villagers fear more noisy farm parties

PUBLISHED: 16:48 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:56 31 May 2010

LATE night partying at Coldhams Farm could cause major headaches for people in Rickling and Clavering again this winter. Rickling Road Farm owner John Webster has decided not to apply for any temporary event notices (TENs). This means villagers will have

LATE night partying at Coldhams Farm could cause major headaches for people in Rickling and Clavering again this winter.

Rickling Road Farm owner John Webster has decided not to apply for any temporary event notices (TENs). This means villagers will have no advance warning of any private parties he chooses to hold on his land on the border between the two villages and there will be no limit on the number of partygoers who can attend.

Rickling District Cllr Peter Wilcock, said people were upset the loud music and traffic chaos seen in the villages last year could be repeated.

"Mr Webster could hold a party tonight, tomorrow or whenever he liked and there would be no warning given to residents," he said.

"There would be no time limit on how long the parties could last and people are very upset that by not applying for any TENs, the situation could be just as bad as last year."

In August, Mr Webster was believed to be in the process of applying for up to 12 TENs, which would have seen any functions held limited to 499 people.

"Parties were held at the farm last year when the 2003 Licensing Act hadn't come into effect, so the loud music didn't require a licence and it would have been difficult to prove that alcohol was being sold on the premises," Cllr Wilcock said.

"By not applying for any temporary notices, this situation can continue, with the landowner still unable to sell alcohol or charge an admission fee.

"It's really a watching brief at the moment, and we will keep a close eye on any potential parties.

"Residents can inform the police if the noise becomes too obtrusive as they can take action under the Public Order Act."

One anonymous Rickling resident, said the loud music at the party on the farm last winter was unbearable.

She said: "They started at about 11pm and could go on until 10am the next morning, and sleeping was made absolutely impossible.

"The thudding and pounding of the bass drove us crazy and it's not fair that we should have to tolerate it and be forced to accept it.

"The partygoers also create havoc when they are arriving and leaving, as they clog up the narrow lanes and often have loud music playing."

Saffron Walden Sgt Ashley Seymour said any public order offences at any private party would be investigated.

Mr Webster declined to speak to the Reporter.

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