Soundon Festival stays off as Aveley concert loses appeal in High Court

THURROCK Council’s decision to refuse a license for a music festival in Aveley was upheld on Tuesday (27 July) in a judicial review at the High Court.

Soundon Music Festival had its license application refused on 22 June after concerns were raised by licensing officers, police and local residents about a number of issues with the proposed venue.

Concerns included the size and number of access routes, provisions of public and private transport and parking, and traffic control procedures on the nearby A13 and A136.

Three separate versions of the organisers event management plan (EMP) were submitted during the extensive application process. However, details surrounding certain issues were still not good enough to satisfy the council’s licensing sub-committee.

Licensing sub-committee chair, Cllr Graham Snell, commented following the court hearing: “It is great to hear that the court is in agreement with our decision to refuse this license. Applications go through such a robust process to ensure the safety and wellbeing for everyone involved. We deemed that the event would put too many people at potential risk and the court agreed.”

Cllr Snell added: “As a ward councillor in Thurrock I am keen to get more entertainment and cultural events happening in the borough, but they must happen with the consent and the agreement of all residents, and show in-depth plans of how proficient safety measures will be adhered to.”

Event organisers argued that council and police authorities did not properly read and reconsider redrafted versions of the EMP and therefore did not have enough evidence to refuse the granting of a license.

However, Judge, Mr Justice Ouseley concluded the judicial review hearing by saying: “This is not a case in which I am prepared to grant permission. Having examined material and heard argument I am satisfied this case is unarguable.”

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