We’ve just heard from council officers this afternoon that the controversial application to run a ‘Feis‘ festival in Kilburn Grange park at the time of the Olympics has been withdrawn.
It’s fair to say that we haven’t had such a large-scale licensing application in Kilburn since becoming councillors – nor has there been such clear opposition from residents and local groups (see a CNJ report here). There were a total of 160 formal objections to the application; few applications anywhere in the borough (including around Camden Town and Covent Garden) attract such levels of opposition.
Local people weren’t being NIMBYs, but there were many, many genuine concerns about the festival – noise levels, late-night drinking, policing and loss of a huge part of our local park for three weeks in the summer, to name a few. Many of these problems came to light at a public meeting organised by Webheath TRA, which I blogged about here. As your local councillors, Thomas, Maryam and I understood these concerns and lodged an objection too.
The applicant scaled down hours, capacity and duration on two separate occasions; but he clearly misjudged local reaction. Perhaps if there had been earlier, and more meaningful engagement with residents, these concerns would have been understood and a more acceptable application proposed. In the end, all the last minute chopping and changing just add to confusion.
So, if you were planning to attend the Licensing Panel which was due to hear the application on Thursday (5 April) morning, there’s no need now!
We three Kilburn councillors were pleased to be able to stand up for local people. Now everyone can enjoy the park safely during the Olympics.