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Festival views aired
11:34am Thursday 28th June 2012 in Letters
Sir.–Yet again the doom and gloom merchants are out – this time ranting about the planned festival at Laverstoke Park, Overton.
As a local resident, I have recently had an anonymous letter pushed through my letterbox suggesting that the Chris Evans/Jody Scheckter festival will result in gangs of festival goers roaming through our villages breaking into homes, frightening local children, blocking our roads, vandalising local property and leaving litter everywhere. If this is really what they are up to then they will be very busy. It will be hard to cram all of this into a long weekend and listen to the music!
Should we, the local residents, be quaking in our beds? No, of course not.
With 20,000 people expected there will inevitably be problems with increased traffic, noise and possibly even anti-social behaviour. But to suggest that local children will be in danger and that trespass, damage, forced entry and theft will be rife is outrageous.
As a 61-year-old resident of Overton with children and grandchildren living in the village, I fully support the proposed festival.
This is an excellent location for events of this nature, and if properly organised, as I am sure it will be, then it will be good for both local residents and businesses. Of course, the festival will have an impact on local people but this will be temporary and certainly not significant enough for the event to be banned.
Opposition to the festival proposals is being orchestrated by an anonymous band of individuals calling themselves the Overton Laverstoke Group. It would be very misleading for them to suggest that they represent the views of local people. They certainly do not represent me. I would finally add that I have no connections whatsoever with the Laverstoke Park Estate or with the event organisers.
–Graham Gould, Overton Hill, Overton.
Sir.–I was rather surprised to see the opening line of Chris Gregory’s article about the recent Carfest meeting in Overton where he stated “Tempers flared”. I have been to public planning meetings that have been much more volatile! However I do feel that villagers from both Overton and Steventon had every right to express their concerns.
The first concern was that permission has already been given to hold two such events a year. The second was the impact of traffic and the third exhibitors and campers moving on and off the site and the noise level.
Brand Events assured all present that a time limit would be put on campers and exhibitors moving on to the site although admitted, when questioned, that it was impossible to control this.
Those present were also assured that the bars and music would cease before midnight but again Brand Events admitted people could bring alcohol onto the campsite.
Other concerns expressed were the detrimental effect on trade, the golf course, and closure of the footpath.
But to really put all this in perspective is that Brand Events and Clare Scheckter, with the backing of Chris Evans and Radio 2, announced £350,000 had been raised for Children In Need.
Without wishing to sound like one of Mrs Atkins’ “ignorant selfish nimbys” the villagers have to balance this figure and decide whether a two-day event of this magnitude is really worth it financially.
–Lyn Hardy, Dummer, Basingstoke.