Agenda and minutes

Venue: Online Meeting

Contact: Sarah Buffrey  Democratic Service

Link: Watch the recordign of this meeting on the Herefordshire Council Youtube channel

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.


No apologies for absence were received.


Named Substitutes (if any)

To receive any details of Members nominated to attend the meeting in place of a Member of the committee.


There were no substitutes present at the meeting.


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interests in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.


There were no declarations of interest made.


Application for an occasional grant of a premises licence in respect of 'How the Light Gets In Festival 2023' - Licensing Act 2003 pdf icon PDF 303 KB

To consider an application for a grant of an occasional premises licence in respect of How the Light Gets In Festival 2022 under the Licensing Act 2003.

Additional documents:


Members of the licensing sub-committee from the Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee considered the above application, full details of which appeared before the members in their agenda, and the supplementary information received from the applicant and published on the 14 April and 19 April 2023.


Prior to making their decision the Council’s Licensing Officer presented the report which outlined the options available to the sub-committee. No representations had been received from the responsible authorities. Four relevant public representations had been received. A number of representations on traffic matters had been received and these had been rejected as not within the remit of the subcommittee. The Licensing Officer summarised the history of the festival and the conditions that were applied to previous licenses for the event.


The sub-committee heard from the public representatives that:

·       The primary objection is to noise nuisance in the early hours and it was noted that the new housing at Bookers Edge was not fully occupied during previous festivals;

·       Trees and other vegetation on the edge of the site have been cut back since the last festival, which will reduce noise attenuation;

·       The type of music played was not ‘folk music’ as described at a last year’s hearing and included loud and repetitive bass beats;

·       Background noise levels should be taken well ahead of the festival period to be properly representative of the usual background levels;

·       The finishing time should be brought forward, preferably to 11pm to match that of the main Hay Literary Festival;

·       The noise disturbance impacted on a neighbouring business, a request has been made by the owner for an additional noise monitoring station on their property on the Powys side of the river;

·       Complaints made to the advertised contact numbers in 2022 were unanswered, or if they were answered the noise was turned down briefly but then went back up again;

·       The event is essentially a music festival;

·       The festival does contribute to the economy of the town but causes a lot of disturbance and claims to run at a loss every year;

·       Some residents did not feel able to complain and simply put up with the nuisance, however a number of concerns had been raised with the parish council.


Following questioning by the subcommittee it was confirmed that:

·       Complaints were made in 2022 to both Herefordshire Council and the advertised contact number for the festival, the phones were not answered at the time but the incidents were reported afterwards;

·       The licensing officer reported there were 2 complaints logged in relation to the festival in 2018, 7 in 2019 and 2 in 2022.



The sub-committee then heard from the applicant’s representatives that:

·       The festival made an important contribution to the local economy and had been running in the current location since 2018;

·       Music is an important aspect of the festival and to restrict this would alter the ethos and atmosphere of the event;

·       The closing time was brought forward from 2am to 1am in 2022;

·       There has been considerable consultation and planning ahead  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.