‘Daily Glastonbury’ licence plan fuels neighbours’ fury

Applications are submitted for live music, plays and films at historic gardens and park sites

Friday, 3rd January 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Northampton Square Gardens

Northampton Square Gardens in Clerkenwell 

NEIGHBOURS are outraged by the council’s plans to license live music events akin to a “daily Glastonbury” in parks across the borough.

The Town Hall’s parking and events team have submitted applications to license live music, plays and films in Northampton Square Gardens in Clerkenwell and Wray Crescent Park in Crouch Hill, sparking fury from local residents.

Islington is the most built-up borough in London with the least amount of parks and green spaces.

Northampton Square Gardens dates back to the late 19th cen­tury and the site is surrounded by rows of terraced housing and City University buildings.

If the licensing board approves the application next Thursday events with crowds of up to 500 people will be possible.

One resident said: “We realise the council may be trying to raise money by hiring the square out to private enterprise, but the current figures are frankly ridiculous.”

Addressing the council in their statement, they added: “Five hundred people is a lot of bodies. Are you planning a daily Glastonbury?”

Another resident said: “In recent years we have seen the gardens used for an all-day event which included loud music, drumming, dancing, singing and cooking in the square which ran from mid-morning until late evening and was intolerable for residents.”

In Wray Crescent Park, the council have applied for a 10am-10pm licence for events all year round, leading to seven objections.

Several objectors said that the events would encourage anti-social behaviour, which is already an issue in the park they say.

“If any of those proposed activities happen in the outside space adjacent to or even in Wray Park I would feel hounded out of my home because of the noise pollution,” one neighbour said. “There would be nowhere to escape it and the proposal that these activities are daily for 11 hours a day is absolutely shocking.”

A council spokesman said: “All events authorised by the Parks Service will be subject to a thorough application process and consultation with local residents and/or councillors, should there be any concerns around their suitability or pot­en­tial to cause dispute.”

He added: “A detailed event operating plan shall be produced which outlines all the safety and emergency procedures for the events held in the park.”

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