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Who's in favour of CarFest 2013?
12:00am Saturday 22nd September 2012 in News
COUNCILLORS have called for comments from villagers about a controversial charity festival.
Following August’s CarFest – held in aid of Children in Need at Laverstoke Park Farm – Overton Parish Council will hold its own review of the Chris Evans-hosted event.
Some villagers were concerned about the noise and traffic generated and have campaigned against the festival – which has so far raised £440,000 for charity – returning next year.
The parish council will hold an inquiry tomorrow between 9am and 2pm, in the Community Centre with villagers having the chance to come in person to express their views or send information to councillors beforehand.
Organisers Brand Events and Clare Scheckter, who owns Laverstoke Park Farm with her husband, former Formula 1 champion Jody Scheckter, attended September’s parish council meeting to listen to feedback.
Chairman Tom Ridler said: “As a parish council, we are going to take evidence from everyone who wants to supply it.”
A Brand Events spokeswoman told the meeting: “We are at the very first stages of reviewing the event and on the top line we were very very pleased.
“The feedback we have had from visitors has been overwhelming in terms of the experience people had.
“I was thrilled to pieces that we didn’t have any of the traffic issues that people feared we would. We spent a lot of money on one of the biggest companies that organise event traffic and I think it was money well spent.”
Cllr Ian Tilbury said: “I think the biggest surprise was the complete lack of traffic.”
Cllr Paula Baker relayed feedback from constituents, which was mostly positive but some residents have asked for their driveways to be coned off if CarFest goes ahead for a second year, so that they are not used as drop off points.
Cllr Peter Hutchinson recorded sound levels of up to 60 decibels coming from the festival and 110 decibels coming from aircraft during the flyover, which he said scared some livestock.
However, many councillors told the meeting that they did not hear the festival.
Cllr Peter Baker said the success was marred by some drivers speeding along the country lanes.
He said: “There were Ferraris racing each other along the country road. It’s very juvenile and very dangerous for cyclists.”
He also claimed he had been told of 11 people who walked into CarFest free of charge through back routes and Mr Hutchinson saw a number of people crossing fields to gain free entry.
The Brand Event spokeswoman said: “People walking into the event free is a concern as it ups our capacity and it’s money coming out of Children in Need.”