Winchester councillors review Boomtown licence on eve of teenager death inquest

Basingstoke Gazette: Winchester councillors review Boomtown licence on eve of teenager death inquest Winchester councillors review Boomtown licence on eve of teenager death inquest

AN inquest will hear tomorrow how a teenager died at a Hampshire music festival.

It will be heard on the same day as an application to greatly increase the size of the BoomTown event.

Eleanor Rowe, 18, from Glastonbury died at BoomTown on August 8 last year with the possible cause being ketamine and alcohol toxicity.

The inquest will be heard at Winchester Coroner’s Court before assistant coroner Sarah Whitby.

Coincidentally, Winchester City Council will hold a hearing to do with the venue and the BoomTown event on the same day. (WED)

The organisers want to increase capacity from 30,000 in 2013 to 38,000 this year, 45,000 in 2015 and 49,999 in 2016.
Today city councillors were reviewing the premises licence for the venue – Matterley Bowl – after there were breaches of the licensing conditions in 2013. Music carried on after the 4am deadline sparking calls from some local villagers for the organisers to be prosecuted.
Instead the city council decided to review the licence.

A report to the committee said complaints about noise had dropped from 80 in 2012 to 12 last year.
There are nine objections to the licences and 15 in support.

Opponent David Pain, from Cheriton, said the number of events that landowner Peveril Bruce is allowed to stage at the Matterley Bowl should be cut from 24 days to just nine.

Peter Kilmister, of Tichborne, in a letter to the council, said the Matterley events had a history of crime, disorder, traffic problems, litter, deaths due to illegal drug abuse...anti-social behaviour and harm to wildlife: “The whole situation is unacceptable. We are victims. The perpetrators are able to continue unabated.”

Alison Matthews, chairman of the Upper Itchen Valley Society, said increased capacity was unreasonable without a proper check on the numbers attending. The society is also unhappy about the licence to 4am on Monday morning.

But there was also support from locals. Chris Sparkes, of Alresford Road, opposite the BoomTown site, said noise pollution and organisation had improved in recent years.

Karen Wells, director of the Chestnut Horse pub in Easton, said the event brings in extra business.

“The event is well planned and excellently executed. Each year the organisers have listened to the concerns of the local communities and adapted or improved plans.”

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