Shropshire Star

Time for Ludlow residents 'live and work with' final decision over music events at historic castle

A decision to allow organisers to hold eight major events for 8,000 people each time at a town centre's historic castle has been widely welcomed on social media.

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A file photo of a crowd enjoying an event at Ludlow Castle in 2009. Picture: RICHARD STANTON.

Shropshire Council has today published its decision notice to allow eight large events to be held at Ludlow Castle following a meeting of three councillors on Tuesday.

The decision of the Licensing Sub-committee has been widely welcomed on social media and a high profile councillor, despite objections raised by some locals concerned about anticipated disruption to the town.

One of the conditions is to impose a maximum noise level for "noise sensitive properties in Dinham" of 70 decibels or 75 decibels for the headline artist.

The sub-committee has also agreed a wide range of other control conditions with Futuresound Events Limited to allow the events to be held. The decision can only be challenged by legal action at the magistrates court.

Ludlow Councillor Andy Boddington says he had "sympathy" for objectors, but urged locals to "live and work with" the difficult decision.

Councillor Boddington said: "The application was fiercely opposed by residents nearby who suffer from noise during major events. There was strong support across the wider town for an increase in entertainment in Ludlow and the footfall generated by the events.

"I have a lot of sympathy for the residents. We also need to look after the needs of the broader town. If I had been able to attend the hearing on Tuesday, I would have argued for fewer large events."

He added that noise and behaviour during the concerts will be strictly controlled.

"Even then, it will prove too much for some residents," he added.

"We can’t have a totally quiet town centre. It would be dead if every day was like a winter’s day. Getting the balance right is difficult. The decision for eight days of major events is now made. We need to live and work with it."

The decision was made by Councillor Nigel Lumby, Councillor Peter Broomhall and Councillor Roy Aldcroft. It imposes time limits on the events and says all regulated entertainment will cease by 10.30pm.

The venue, owned and operated by the Powis Estates, hosted four concerts in July last year, featuring stars including Kaiser Chiefs and Nile Rodgers and Chic.

More big names are coming this year with Madness playing on July 27 and Anne-Marie performing the following night. And it was announced this week James will perform on July 25.

At the meeting a representative of Futuresound Events said the firm’s owner was from the town, and wanted to “bring something back” to Ludlow.

And John Payne, a solicitor for Futuresound, accepted there was a “balancing act” where the nuisance caused by noise was concerned.

But John Cartwright of Ludlow Civic Society said the venue was wholly unsuitable as a base for a series of large amplified concerts.

He said: “Last year the noise and disturbance for those in the immediate vicinity around the castle, by which I mean principally but not exclusively, residents of Dinham, Mill Street, Broad Street and the Linney, were intolerable.

Jennifer Gill, a Dinham resident, said: “The distress of residents in the area affected cannot be justified by the financial gains of Powis Estates and the Leeds-based company Futuresound Events.”

Resident Simon Burke said his family could “not escape” the noise last year, and had decided to go on holiday during the days of concerts already planned for this year.

Members of a Ludlow Facebook group welcomed the decision.

A typical contributor said: "Excellent news, need the footfall to boost trade in town and give people a chance of great live entertainment locally."

Another wrote: "This is good news for Ludlow, now let's get behind this and ensure Ludlow can put on a show, all local businesses - existing and new - can benefit from anything that puts Ludlow on the map, let's all pull together."