FESTIVAL organisers have been refused by councillors to expand their music event in Alresford - following backlash from residents.

M3 Productions, who took over the running of Alresford Music Festival in November, applied to Winchester City Council to allow next year’s affair to run over two days, with extended hours for live music and alcohol sales.

However, the plans were met with criticism from some nearby residents, and earlier this month members of the city council’s licensing sub-committee refused the application to the delight of residents and ward councillors.

In a report from the council, it stated the reason for refusal: “A two-day event in this residential location would have a disproportionate and unreasonable effect on the amenity of people living and working in the surrounding area. The sub-committee accepted the professional judgement of the environmental protection manager that nuisance from amplified sound could not be adequately mitigated on this site and considered that a one-day festival balanced the interests of the event organiser with the protection of the local community.”

During the meeting James Mitchell, on behalf of the applicant, tried to alleviate fears put forward by those living close to the festival site at Alrebury Park.

Mr Mitchell was asked to clarify concerns including noise levels and soundproofing, current and anticipated attendance figures, along with ticketing and parking arrangements.

In a report of the meeting it states that he also explained why the application was lodged, saying: “The second day of the festival would allow local individuals and groups to take an active part in the Festival and that the variation to the licence was required in part to make this second day financially viable.”

But opponents also put forward their case, including Mr and Mrs Wragg of Arle Close, who previously wrote to the council: “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.”

And Abigail Toms, environmental protection manager at the city council, told members that a two-day festival would be a”public nuisance”

Jacquie and John Frampton, who live near to the site, were also present, along with Alresford and Itchen Valley councillor Russell Gordon-Smith, who represented fellow ward member Margot Power.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Power said: “I think it is right that it was refused, it would be a pity if the music festival stopped completely but you have got to think about the impact on residents lives.”

M3 Productions can now appeal the decision at the magistrates court.