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Festival organisers withdraw plans for three-day event on Wanstead Flats

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 October 2019

Wanstead Flats after the grassfires last year. Picture: Ken Mears

Wanstead Flats after the grassfires last year. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Plans to host a festival for up to 50,000 music lovers on Wanstead Flats have been withdrawn by the organisers.

Mama Festivals, who are famed for staging Lovebox in Victoria Park as well as other festivals including Wilderness, the Citadel and The Great Escape, had been granted permission to hold a weekend event in September next year.

The land, off Aldersbrook Road in Wanstead, is owned by the City of London Corporation, which gave the go-ahead to the weekend of concerts at a meeting in July.

But the unnamed three-day festival couldn't go ahead unless Redbridge Council granted organisers the relevant licences.

The licence application has now been withdrawn by Mama Festivals, meaning the event will no longer go ahead, according to Wanstead Village councillor Paul Donovan.

"There were many concerns raised by local residents, community groups and councillors about this proposed event, so it is welcome news that the organisers have withdrawn the application," Cllr Donovan said.

"Of particular concern was the damage it would do to wildlife habitats in what is a vital green space in our area.

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"These things matter, so it is good to know that this potentially damaging event is now not taking place.

"It will also be a mighty relief to many living in the area."

The Wren Conservation Group had written to the City of London Corporation to express "serious concern" about the proposed festival.

The group voiced fears for the wildlife.

A spokesman said: "The remaining, and undamaged, 
wild areas of the Wanstead 
Flats are fragile and under great stress.

"Despite being the closest remaining location to central London, where skylarks breed and can be heard singing, there are only five or six pairs left breeding here."

A petition to stop the festival going ahead was also signed by more than 465 people.

Councillor for Wanstead Park, Sheila Bain, said: "This news will come as a welcome relief for local residents who were really concerned about the impact of the proposed festival on their neighbourhoods, as well as the environmental damage that it was likely to have caused."

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