Worry over Suffolk festival

RESIDENTS living on a Suffolk estate have voiced their fears over plans for a three day festival which is set to run into the early hours on a former airfield near their homes.

RESIDENTS living on a Suffolk estate have voiced their fears over plans for a three day festival which is set to run into the early hours on a former airfield near their homes.

But the owners of Rougham Airfield, near Bury St Edmunds, yesterday moved to reassure people about The Human Zoo Arts Festival planned for August 10, 11 and 12.

The event is expected to attract some 4,500 people and will feature music and other events.

Although the police and fire service have not raised any objections to the event, concerns have been raised by those living on the Moreton Hall estate - especially those in Airfield Road next to the Rougham site - about the noise and disturbance they might endure if the concert goes ahead.


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Some in the community have likened the event to a rave - though this has been called “scandalous” by the airfield's owner John Agnew.

Mr Agnew said: “Young people around here don't get a fair crack of the whip. We've made a huge effort to be in touch with local people.

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“All the hoops have been gone through and the last thing we want to do is upset the neighbours.

“We have every confidence in those organising the event and we are very unhappy about suggestions that this is either disorganised or not legal.

“There is extremely restricted entry and there will be lots of young adults and young people coming with their parents.”

Rev Jonathan Ford, of Moreton Hall's Christ Church, said he too had heard people describing it as a rave, as a party and as a concert.

He said: “I have no problem with the airfield and they put on good events but I do think 2.30am in the morning is over the top as is three days of it and there's not enough infrastructure for it.”

Trevor Beckwith, Moreton Hall ward member on St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said a number of residents had raised their concerns with him about the event.

He said he was loathe to try and stop events from going ahead but was intent on finding out what the impact on residents would be.

Mr Beckwith added: “It is about trying to find out what it is all about.”

Meanwhile, five people arrested on suspicion of organising an illegal rave in a forest at Ingham, near Bury, on Saturday night, which attracted 1,000 people, have been released on police bail until September.

No further arrests have been made.

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