Wandsworth Council drops legal action

28 February 2017

Written by: Policy and communications team

Council statements and updates

The South West Four Festival on Clapham Common over the 2017 August Bank Holiday weekend, followed by a Monday Bank Holiday return House of Common will go ahead as planned in Lambeth after neighbouring Wandsworth Council dropped its potentially expensive legal challenge.

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This will allow the tens of thousands of festival goers to continue to attend and enjoy this year’s events, whilst also respecting and protecting the rights of neighbouring Clapham Common residents.

On 6 December 2016 Lambeth Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee granted a premises licence to Lock ‘n’ Load Events Limited which allows it to hold its annual 2 day South West Four Festival on Clapham Common over the 2017 August Bank Holiday weekend, followed by a Monday Bank Holiday return of last year’s House of Common, featuring Madness. Wandsworth Council appealed to Camberwell Magistrates’ Court seeking a reduction in the music levels for this year’s events on January 11.

After subsequent negotiations an agreement was reached that there will be reduced maximum music levels at two monitoring sites for this year’s events, to be measured from two identified locations on Clapham Common West side and Clapham Common North Side. In addition, the Madness event will now finish at 10pm on the Bank Holiday Monday. The outcome means there will now be one extra sound monitoring site operating during the event.

Councillor Jack Hopkins, Lambeth Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Business and Culture, said: “We are always keen to work in partnership with our neighbouring boroughs and I am pleased that this potentially expensive court hearing has been avoided.

“South West Four & House of Common are both popular and regular fixtures in our events calendar. The agreement we have reached means that tens of thousands of people will continue enjoying the long established, safe and successful SW4 event alongside residents of Clapham Common.”

Andrew Mattle of Lock n Load Events the organiser of the event commented – “The granting of SW4’s license for this summer was objected to by Wandsworth Council and one Wandsworth resident. However, there was considerable local support with 175 members of the public writing in; a large proportion of which live around the Common. On top of that, the vast majority of local businesses supported the event. There were no objections from any responsible authority.

“Despite the overwhelming backing of the event, Lock N Load sought to find an amicable solution to this situation. This was achieved by offering reductions in sound levels at two monitoring points in Wandsworth. Lock N Load are very confident that this will not affect the levels that can be reached during the event itself and that these will emulate those achieved in 2016. Lock N Load will now proceed with organising SW4 in order to continue offering a world class festival for all the visitors that attend each year.”