A larger part of Wicken Fen Nature Reserve can be used to hold events, including showing films, plays and live music performances.

The National Trust, which is responsible for the nature reserve in Lode Lane, Wicken, asked for permission to extend the area of the site covered by its licence, which allows it to host events.

The organisation said it wanted more flexibility for holding events to celebrate the National Trust’s 125th anniversary.

East Cambridgeshire District Council has given permission for the licence to be extended, after the National Trust agreed a compromise to address the concerns raised by a neighbour.

The National Trust already holds a licence to host events at the nature reserve, including plays, showing films, live music performances, dance shows, and is allowed to sell alcohol.

It submitted an application to extend where it could hold these events at the site.

In its application the National Trust said: “We have considered the impact of the proposed alterations, taking into account the council’s licensing policy and the licensing objectives, we do not feel that any adverse impact will be caused, and the premises will continue to operate as per their current operating schedule.

“The premises is merely seeking this change in order to have flexibility around hosting events, specifically with respect to events surrounding their 125th anniversary for the site.”

However, concerns about the extension were raised by a neighbour to the nature reserve, who said they believed the change was “excessive”.

They said: “As this application is a permanent extension to the licensed area, it does not preclude larger events then being staged in the future which would be of nuisance to the bordering residential properties.

“A reduction of the licensed area is requested within the existing car park to include only the section nearest to the road.”

After these concerns had been raised the National Trust proposed to reduce the size of the requested extension.

At a meeting of the district council’s licensing (statutory) sub-committee, an officer explained that the objector had agreed that the proposed change addressed their concerns, and therefore a full hearing would not need to be held.

The sub-committee councillors considered the application and decided to grant the revised extension requested by the National Trust.

The chair, Councillor Keith Horgan, said: “We have made a unanimous agreement to support the application.

“We believe that there is no additional risk by doing so on the basis there has been no problems with the applicant breaching any of [the licensing objectives].

“We think it is very reasonable to assume that they will continue going forward so we are happy to approve this application.”