Cost of chaos

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Councillor Neil Parkin may be mistaken in his recollections of the circumstances leading to the agreement of the Wild Life Festival application.

SJM Concerts, the promoters, categorically state in a letter to residents that their initial call was to Adur District Council leaders, who thought it was a proposal worth exploring further.

SJM Concerts go on to say ‘the council asked us to draw up a proposal for them to share with colleagues and politicians’, which it did, on the understanding that the presentation document would be fully circulated throughout the council, so that all representatives could share within their groups of constituents.

The leader of the council failed to do this before the application was made public, so the opportunity for consultation with residents was lost.

SJM Concerts goes on to state that after submitting the presentation to the council, they ‘were asked by the council to submit a premises licence application’.

That suggests an explanation of the concert was submitted to the council for circulation at least a month before the end of the consultation period. Why was that not communicated by the leader of the council to all ward councillors at that time?

What Mr Parkin does not say is that, according to SJM Concerts, it anticipated it would take five years to achieve a 69,999 capacity but it was ‘happy to support Adur and Worthing councils and in applying for this capacity, paid a licence fee of £40, 000’.

Is that the price of Wild Life chaos for the 20,000 residents living in the four wards surrounding the airport venue?

I have no problem whatsoever with music festivals like Glastonbury. These are held in 500-plus acres of land away from developed areas.

Shoreham Airport stands in just 125 acres of land and is bordered by homes with an already creaking road infrastructure. It is the wrong place and has the potential for disaster.

Mr Parkin called my statement ‘a load of rubbish’ (Herald, February 26). So be it. He went on to say: “I’m saddened that a councillor would take the word of the organiser of the event over what he has been told by the council”

Mr Parkin cannot deny the statements made by SJM Concerts, which are categoric and have been sent to residents. I certainly believe SJM Concerts and if Mr Parkin has a problem, he should take it up with them, not vilify a councillor who is truly representing his constituents.

My thanks go to ex-Conservative councillor Mike Mendoza for his column (Herald, March 5), in which he wrote: “Councillor Geoff Patmore (UKIP) was quite right to bring up his concerns with regards to the upcoming music festival at Shoreham Airport.”

Geoff Patmore

Adur district councillor for Widewater

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