Greenwich music festival that featured Tom Jones given permission to run despite complaints

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

A musical festival will continue to be able to run next year despite receiving noise complaints from a nearby music school.

Greenwich council has given permission for International Management Group (IMG) to continue hosting events at the Old Royal Naval College.

The promoter hosted Greenwich Summer Sounds from July 4-8 this year, a music festival in Lower Ground Square that featured Black Eyed Peas and Tom Jones.

The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, based in the King Charles Building beside the square, made an application for IMG to have its licence reviewed after the school claimed its performances had to be rescheduled due to the works done in preparation of the festival.

Phil Harding, director of finance and estates at Trinity Laban, said at the meeting that the school had previously requested the festival be postponed for a week until its academic term was over.

This request was reportedly denied and the school’s open days were rescheduled to a week earlier, but Mr Harding said there was still disruption due to the noise from the festival’s setup.

Mr Harding said at the meeting: “This event has caused a disturbance and disruption to essential teaching and other activities at our premises.”

The school’s representative said he did not outright oppose the music festival being run in future, but would ideally like to see the event taking place outside of term time.

Linda Burford, speaking on behalf of IMG said that the conditions of the promoter’s licence were upheld during the event. She said the complaint from the school was regarding noise during the school’s open days week, but claimed that no amplified sound arose from the site at this time.

Council officers said at the meeting that better communication was likely needed between both parties to resolve the issue.

Kate Miners, director of public engagement and commercial at The Greenwich Foundation, which conserves the Old Royal Naval College, said there were no evening performances during Trinity Laban’s rescheduled open days that would affect the school’s activities.

She said the dates for the next four years of events for the festival had also recently been shared with the school to aid with discussions.

Ms Miners said at the meeting: “I wanted to say as well that I and my colleagues at The Greenwich Foundation remain strongly committed to working very closely and openly with our tenants, as I feel we have done here, and our site partners and neighbours to create a lively, welcoming and culture-filled borough for everyone.”

The licensing sub-committee said in its decision notice published last week that consideration was given to finding the right balance between the events enjoyed by the wider community and respecting local residents and businesses.

They added that, based on the evidence given, the noise made at the festival this year was not unreasonable or disproportionate and the licence was to remain in place.

Pictured top: The site of the Old Royal Naval College as seen from the Thames Path, with the King Charles Building on the right (Picture: Greenwich council)

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