Boomtown Festival – permanent permission applied for in the South Downs!

Planning application:

Outstanding planning application: – SDNP/21/00290/FUL – seeks a PERMANENT permission for change of use of 444 Ha (1,100 acres) at Matterley Farm.

Two previous applications (SDNP/15/06486/FUL and SDNP/18/06249/FUL) granted a 3-year and 6 year temporary permission – these run out in 2024.

It’s worth noting that if granted the Matterley site will probably be the only permanent major festival site in any national park in England and Wales! Also, it will be larger than Glastonbury which is 365 hectares. The Glastonbury site in Somerset site is not in a National Park or in an Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB), neither does it contain a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) which this site in the South Downs does.

Ironically the Government is currently seeking to better protect SSSI locations (see note below). On can hardly imagine that ‘better protection’ amounts to inviting all the industrialised major temporary building paraphernalia, defining sound systems and major light displays accompanied by over 76,000 people and thousand of cars! Wildlife have no voice in this matter whether they are a hedgehog or skylark, whether they are a cowslip or wild orchid. Hopefully individuals an communities will speak for them!

If you wish to comment you can do so by emailing the Planning Dept at planning@southdowns.gov.uk quoting the reference SDNP/21/00290/FUL . or via the web: http://planningpublicaccess.southdowns.gov.uk/online-applications/

Environmental Impact

It was submitted with an Environmental Statement as long ago as January 2021. The Environmental Statement submitted 14 months ago does not comply with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations as confirmed by the National Park themselves!

Expansion of the Festival

There has been a long history of, what we believe, are unfortunate planning decisions regarding festivals operating and other injurious activities detrimental to the landscape and wildlife on and around this site since the first planning application was submitted to SDNPA in 2015 for annual music festivals and sports/endurance events. Since that time SDNPA have made a number of decisions which seem contrary to the Statutory Purposes of National Parks. In particular their decision of 2019 to extend temporary permission for a further period of 6 years to 31 December 2024 has further complicated the planning situation unnecessarily. We are concerned that the agreed reporting on the effects on the ecology of the area since 2016, which was a condition of both temporary planning permissions has either not been made public or possibly not carried out. All very concerning!

See our report of the history of planning on this site by CLICKING HERE

Nature Recovery Green Paper: Protected Sites and Species Consultation Closes 11 May 2022

The proposals set out in the Government’s Green Paper support ambitions to restore nature and halt the decline in species abundance by 2030. The Green Paper includes options to bring clarity and coherence to the framework for protected sites; to reform species protections.  


One thought on “Boomtown Festival – permanent permission applied for in the South Downs!

  1. Little Golders,
    Chilcomb,
    Winchester.
    SO21 1HT
    Tuesday, 21 June 2022
    Dear Tim Slaney,
    I believe the last limit for the Boomtown Festival was 60,000 so 76,000 is a around a 25% increase. This is unacceptable on the grounds of massive increases in traffic and noise. Little Golders is one of the nearest properties to the site. The traffic generated is not only a nuisance it creates pollution. The world is desperately trying to reduce the CO2 in order to save the planet. Another 16,000 people travelling, let us say, on-average 200 miles there and back to the festival is between 2 and 3 million miles! Young people tend not to travel alone reducing the that figure but even so it is a lot of miles. This represents hundreds of tons of CO2.
    I watched a BBC programme about Glastonbury a few nights ago. On one occasion the agreed entrance number was 300,000 but in fact approximately 100,000 extra people climbed the fence so 400,000 people were at the festival. One wonders how many people were injured or became ill as a result.
    I can only assume that Boomtown and Matterley farm will follow a similar year on year increase and be back for another 25% increase to 95,000 and, inevitable, even more in 2024. 60,000 people at £250 each is £15,000,000. I realise that setting up and managing the festival is expensive but the organises and Matterley Farm must make huge profits. The whole venture is a licence, for all concerned, to make money by the shedload. In my view, further massive increases in numbers allowed into the festival are not in the public interest.
    I am happy to support the present limit but I would not approve of a further increase.
    Yours sincerely,

    Edward Winfield

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