Park concerts halved after noise complaints
PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 January 2011
THE century-old tradition of concert bands playing in a Weston park has come under-fire by seven people - and resulted in the amount of performances being halved.
North Somerset Council has ruled that music events will only be allowed to take place at Grove Park every fortnight instead of weekly following complaints about noise.
The bandstand venue attracts crowds of up to 500 people during the summer months, who listen to brass and wind bands perform for two hours on a Sunday afternoon.
John Horler, owner of Grove Park café, has been paying for the bands to play since North Somerset Council said it could no longer afford to fund the events.
He said: “The bands concerts in the park are part of our heritage and the music is enjoyed by many hundreds of people throughout the summer but once again in this nanny state the minority have won.”
Colin Rossiter, Weston Brass secretary, told the Mercury: “I think it is an absolute disgrace.
“The bandstand has been there for over 100 years and playing on a Sunday afternoon is a tradition.
“I could understand if it was rock music with amplifiers but it isn’t – it’s traditional bands playing in a traditional setting.”
Andy Ractliffe, of Worlewind Band, said he was ‘disappointed’ to hear of the news.
He added: “We hope the enjoyment of the audiences that support this great free attraction will outweigh any concerns and that this decision will be reviewed.”
Peter Skellon, musical director of the RAFA band, said: “This tradition helps to brings many visitors both local and holidaymakers into the park on a Sunday, many returning to visit Grove Park its attractions and the cafe during week.”
Mark Canniford, town councillor and owner of Spar on High Street, said he would be collecting signatures for a petition against the move at his store.
A spokesman for NSC said an investigation was carried out by its environmental team last summer following seven complaints and it was agreed that the noise was ‘sufficient to be described as a nuisance’.
She added: “The music events are extremely popular and last year were attended by several thousand people and therefore rather than risk having to stop them completely it was felt that the only course of action was to reduce the number of events taking place in the park.”