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24 juin 2008

WOMAD licence agreed

By Tina Robins / Wilts and Glouchesterhire Standard

A Permanent licence has been granted for WOMAD to be staged at Charlton Park following changes to traffic arrangements and a reduction in noise.

North Wiltshire District Council's licensing sub-committee voted not to have a hearing and to grant a permanent premises licence after hearing that World in the Park Ltd had agreed to ammendments suggested by Wiltshire Police and environmental health officers.

Last year the A429 was gridlocked as far as the M4 when campers started arriving to take part in the four-day festival.

Parking was also a major problem with many drivers opting to leave their cars in Milbourne rather than risk getting stuck in the mud on the site.

Environmental health pollution officers also sought a reduction in noise of five decibels at all monitoring points at this year's festival from July 25 to 27, as a result of the relocation of the stages.

Licensing enforcement officer Linda Holland said: "Environmental health, pollution team, police and the applicant all believe a hearing is not necessary. This licence gives the company exclusive use of the site for an annual festival. Maximum attendance will be 45,000, including staff, crew, acts and guests. It's not a one off licence but for the same every year."

The licence allows the sale of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment, entertainment facilities and late night refreshment in the area to the front of the Main House and reaching to the A429.

The news comes as festival organiser Thomas Brooman celebrates being made a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to music and charity.

Congratulating him, festival founder Peter Gabriel, who has a studio at Box near Bath said: "Music is a universal language, it draws people together and proves, as well as anything, the stupidity of racism."

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