VILLAGERS are having to wait to hear their appeal over the granting of permission for a new event near Alresford.

They want Winchester City Council to alter a premises licence granted in January for Brand Events to stage a food and music festival at Grange Park, Northington.

A group, including city councillor Kim Gottlieb, have appealed but the case before magistrates in Basingstoke has been adjourned to October 27, because of the impact of Covid on the courts.

As well as Cllr Gottlieb the other appellants are Mike Bounds, Andrew Hill, Emma Howard and Jo Marshall.

Cllr Gottlieb, who lives nearby in East Stratton, said: “Most locals are happy to support events at Grange Park and the local economy generally, but there were many concerns about the scale of the event which was for up to 20,000 people at any one time over a weekend.

“The chief problem is that the surrounding road network could not cope with 8,000 vehicles – the applicant’s own figure – coming and going along country lanes some of which are very narrow. There is no public transport and, in our view, the impact on nearby villages and hamlets, would have been unacceptable.

“By comparison, Boomtown is accessed directly off the A31, and Blissfields had only 3,000 attendees. Opera events at the Grange cater for only 500-600 people.”

Cllr Gottlieb said the appellants are seeking an amendment to the licence so that it requires the events management plan (EMP), governing things such as traffic, alcohol sales and hours, be approved by the Safety Advisory Group, which includes the county council highways team, police and fire brigade.

He says the city council have agreed the amendment but because the appeal has been launched it needs to be signed by a magistrate.

The campaigners hope that the scrutiny by the police and fire service would scupper the event if the EMP does not work.

Brand Events has previously said that the festival will be the “ultimate foodie escape”, with camping offered on site.

A Winchester City Council spokesperson said: "An appeal lodged against a condition of a premises licence at the food festival at Grange Park has been adjourned by the court. A draft consent order has been agreed with the appellant and the council is awaiting the court’s decision on whether a hearing is required or whether the consent order can be signed."

Brand Events were contacted for a comment but it did not respond.