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Chris Evans' CarFest gets positive response from residents
BETTER than we expected – that was the majority verdict at a public inquiry into last month’s CarFest.
About 50 villagers visited Overton Community Centre, Winchester Street, last Saturday, to give Overton Parish Council their thoughts about how the event, held at Laverstoke Park Farm in August, was managed and 50 more emailed the council with their opinions.
Those attending the inquiry were asked to fill in a form giving their opinions about how CarFest affected Overton in terms of noise, traffic, nuisance, community involvement and communication as well as a section for any additional comments.
One of the first through the doors at the inquiry was Jamie Jones, of Sapley Lane, not far from Laverstoke Park Farm.
He said he was firmly in favour of the festival and said he had been left fuming at some of the negative publicity about it in the national press.
He said: “It was an abso-lutely fantastic event. I’m completely incensed about all the negative reports I read.
“There weren’t any problems with traffic. I got very frustrated at the meetings before CarFest because people were being so negative. They were just presuming the worst before anything had even happened.”
Council chairman Councillor Tom Ridler said the majority of villagers at the inquiry felt the same.
He said: “The great major-ity were supportive of CarFest. There were a few people who are still not happy, but even so, everyone was delighted that half a million pounds was raised for Children in Need.
“The things that people were most concerned about – traffic and noise – pretty much everyone thought that it wasn’t a problem and that the organisers had really taken their concerns on board.”
But he said the concerns people had raised – the safety of people walking to the festival on the roads, the involvement of local businesses, the closure of some footpaths, the noise of supercars going through the village and the desire for more tickets for villagers – would be logged by the council.
CarFest, which attracted 15,000 people, was held over two days at Laverstoke Park Farm, owned by former Formula 1 champion Jody Scheckter, and was instigated by broadcaster Chris Evans.