Trawden residents’ anger at music festival noise

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ANGRY villagers were kept up until all hours over the weekend by loud music coming from a festival in Trawden.

The Small Trees Music Festival, staged in a field opposite Trawden Recreation Ground, played hardcore techno music on Friday and Saturday nights leaving residents unable to sleep.

Organiser Adrian Lord was granted a temporary events notice by Pendle Council for a “birthday party ticketed camping event” after being given the green light by police.

But some residents claim they were unaware of the true nature of the event and lodged calls to police and councillors when the music went on way into the early hours.

Boulsworth councillor Paul White made several trips to the site over the weekend after receiving calls from villagers.

He said: “Between borough councillors, police and environmental health there were 116 complaints over the course of the weekend. Insp. Phil Davies said they had received a significant number of calls and Richard Walsh in environmental health said it was the most calls they had ever had for one event.

“The music was incredibly loud and could be heard as far as the road going out of Barrowford up to Whitemoor and in Oak Street, Colne.”

His thoughts were echoed by Trawden resident David Lindley, who said he had been kept awake until 3 a.m.. He said: “It wasn’t just the noise that was of concern but the wilful neglect of the community by the organisers.

“I took my dog for a walk on the recreation ground on Saturday morning to discover smashed glass bottles and ripped beer cans. Anyone using the facility - children, adults and pets - could have been seriously injured. Drystone walls had also been damaged with large stones strewn across the road presenting a risk to traffic.”

However, Richard Walsh, public health manager for Pendle Council, said measurements taken by the noise team over the weekend after 11 p.m. were not excessive. He said he had been contacted by residents so responded by making visits to the site of Friday and Saturday evenings.

“On both occasions when we went the organiser willingly turned down the volume when we asked him. Before 11 p.m. on Friday evening we measured the noise levels and felt the music was perhaps too loud and served a warning notice under the Noise Act.

“During Friday and Saturday nights we responded to residents’ calls to the Night Time Noise service by going out to their homes.

“However, not many of the people who complained were willing to let the Night Time Noise service staff measure the sound levels from within their homes.

“None of the measurements we were able to take from inside people’s homes were at an unacceptable level of noise and we therefore didn’t take any further action.”

Councillors and residents say they are concerned over future events being held on the site.

Coun. White said: “It only costs £25 for a temporary events notice but the cost to members of the public over the weekend has been far greater. Unfortunately, due to a loophole in legislation, the council cannot prevent a notice being granted.

“This can only be done by police if there has been a history of problems at previous events. Essentially the legislation means raves have been legalised and there is very little we can do.”

Organiser Adrian Lord was unavailable to comment on the complaints.