Why we are asking you to write to your MP about the OnBIackheath Festival due to be held very near here in September
We live nearby – at the top of Lewisham Hill, and are writing to you as neighbours. We don’t belong to any group.
On the 10th and 11th September a company cailed NIMBY Events are planning to hold a festival on the same part of the Heath that was used forthe Climate Camp last year.
There is nothing wrong with people having fun, or people making money.
But, festival organisers usuaily try to avoid disrupting local residents, especially young children. Like you, we live here and we think that the views of local peopie should be considered.
We are concemed about the OnBlackheath Festival for the following reasons:
- It is being held in the first two weeks of the new September school term – keeping nursery and primary school children awake when they need to be resting for school
- The event is licensed all weekend for all-day drinking until 10.30pm on Sunday night
- Once the music and drinking stops, late on Sunday night, up to 25,000 people will be encouraged to head down Lewisham Hill to the station. Many will presumably hang around until later.
We do not have assurance that the organisers will have managed to clean up by the next momlng, when children walk across the heath to get to school. At other festivals it is not unknown for broken bottles, drug paraphernalia and other detritus to be found the next day.
The reason we’re writing to you is that the alcohol licence – which was granted for this and every subsequent year – has been challenged in court, and the festival might also need ministerial approval. So there is a short window of opportunity between now and the hearing on April for local people to make their views known. This may make all the difference, as the local MP, Heidi Alexander, says the letters she has received so far have been roughly half in favour, half against.
At the recent public meeting we asked the organisers if they would consider moving the Festival out of school term time to the summer holidays. They said no, because it might reduce attendance numbers.
You can email Heidi Alexander MP, at email@example.com or write to her at Heidi Alexander, MP for Lewisham East, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
The best way of making your views known directly to the licensing appeal is to write to the magistrates at the following address: The Presiding Judge, Reg Case No: 011003910186, Greenwich Magistrates Court, The Court House, London Rd, Bromley, BR1 1RA
If you can, please do it before 15th April while there is still chance to influence the decision.
Simon and Abigail, local residents (simonandabigail at gmail.com)
It will be interesting to see how this plays out… I suspect the festival will go ahead regardless.