FESTIVAL organisers are facing opposition from residents in Alresford over plans to expand their music event.

Alresford Music Festival Ltd want to extend next year’s affair to allow the festival to run over two days, with extended hours for live and recorded music and alcohol sales.

However, the plans have been met with outrage by some nearby residents, who fear it will become more of a ‘public nuisance’ in the usually quiet town.

And on Friday the application will go before Winchester City Council’s licensing committee to determine whether the event will be able to take place on both Saturday and Sunday.

Over the 10 years it has been running the one-day music and creative festival has attracted thousands of people to Arlebury Park.

Festival producer James Mitchell has said to the council that the Sunday would have shorter opening hours and the extra day would allow the event to “reach a larger percentage of the local community”.

One opponent to the proposals, Eric Hale of Arle Close said it would be “almost unbearable as the music rattles through the house” and that he already stays away from his home during the festival as he “can’t get away from it” when there.

Nearby resident Lynne Atkison said: “Personally I find the level of noise so distressing that I go away from home for the weekend, I feel that my home is not my haven as I cannot get away from the noise, even indoors the level drowns out conversation and even the TV!”

And Mr and Mrs Wragg of Arle Close wrote: “Noting the financial contribution made to local organisations we have (reluctantly) tolerated the frequently excessive noise levels from the one day music festival for some years now, but we believe to extend this to two days takes little account of the wishes of local residents.”

While others are calling for the festival to be moved entirely, Jacquie and John Frampton added: “The festival should not be allowed to take place in a residential area for even one day, let alone two. We urge you to refuse this variation and also to press for a more suitable venue to be found.”

The plan has also been objected to by councillor for Alresford and The Itchen Valley Margot Power, along with county and city councillor Jackie Porter.

And in a representation Abigail Toms, environmental protection manager at the city council, said that in his application Mr Mitchell had failed to provide sufficient reassurance that public nuisance could be prevented.

She added: “Whilst there are few complaints from local residents historically, I believe that this is likely due to the fact that the event is only held for one day and as such there is a degree of acceptability within the community. Given that it would be impossible to attenuate noise levels significantly, a one day event was always considered to represent an appropriate balance between the interests of the event organiser and protection of the community. I believe that a whole weekend of live/ recorded music would tip this balance and present an unacceptable level of noise resulting in public nuisance and significant complaints.”