Fenland Festival hearing adjourned for organiser to get paperwork in order

A SHOPKEEPER was given a final chance in his bid to stage a music festival in Fenland when councillors gave him eight days to submit satisfactory paperwork.

Councillors were told that Matt Broadfield, the man behind Fenland Festival due to take place next month, hired a team of consultants to give advice on health and safety just seven days before today’s hearing at Fenland Hall, March.

Fenland District Council was sent documents in the early hours of the morning and not all the paperwork was available in time to be considered by the licensing committee today.

A health and safety witness for Mr Broadfield said there was “more work to be done” and a fire safety witness said “that he would like to carry out a risk assessment with the local fire service”.

Security consultant Clive Doyle, who has run security for several professional football clubs including Queens Park Rangers, told the meeting: “You have not got the finished product today, but you have the assurance that we will make this a safe event.”

Panel chairman Councillor Mike Humphrey said: “Initial questioning of the applicant appeared to raise more questions than answers, especially over which was the correct documentation.

“We do not feel that we are in a position to make a decision that is fair on both parties and the town of March.”

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Mr Broadfield was given until next Thursday to send completed paperwork to the council’s licensing and environmental health teams and Cambs Police Authority.

Despite today’s setback Mr Broadfield, a candidate in the Fenland District Council election earlier this year, is confident the all-day extravaganza will still go ahead.

“I am confident that the event will go ahead, although we are cutting it a bit fine,” said Mr Broadfield, who hopes to attract 3,500 fans to the Grounds Auction Field in Knights End Road on August 27 to hear acts including Artful Dodger, garage duo DJ Luck and MC Neat, and Simon Webbe.

“I am confident everything will go ahead. But I am disappointed we could not get everything sorted out today.”

The hearing was adjourned until August 4.

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