Keystone Law, led by licensing barrister Gareth Hughes, is delighted to have assisted Lock N Load in resisting an appeal brought by Wandsworth Council against licence approval for South West Four music festival. Gareth acted for Lock N Load at the hearing in front of the Lambeth licensing subcommittee and subsequently on the appeal.

The popular event, based in Clapham Common during the August Bank Holiday weekend will go ahead as planned this year after Wandsworth Council dropped its potentially expensive legal challenge.

On 6 December 2016 Lambeth Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee granted a premises licence to Lock N Load Events Limited, allowing it to hold the annual Festival. In response, Wandsworth Council appealed to Camberwell Magistrates’ Court seeking a reduction in the music levels for this year’s events on January 11.

Following on from lengthy negotiations, an agreement was reached that there will be reduced music levels at two monitoring sites for this year’s events, to be measured from two identified locations on Clapham Common West side and Clapham Common North Side.

Hundreds of local residents also wrote in support of the event.

Andrew Mattle of Lock N Load commented,

“The granting of SW4’s license for this summer was objected to by Wandsworth Council and one Wandsworth resident. However, there was considerable local support with 175 members of the public writing in; a large proportion of which live around the Common. On top of that, the vast majority of local businesses supported the event. There were no objections from any responsible authority.

“Despite the overwhelming backing of the event, Lock N Load sought to find an amicable solution to this situation. This was achieved by offering reductions in sound levels at two monitoring points in Wandsworth. Lock N Load are very confident that this will not affect the levels that can be reached during the event itself and that these will emulate those achieved in 2016. Lock N Load will now proceed with organising SW4 in order to continue offering a world class festival for all the visitors that attend each year.”

Gareth Hughes added:

“This was a highly unusual appeal brought by one council against the decision of a neighbouring council. Wandsworth claimed to be speaking on behalf of many local residents but in fact only one person objected to the grant of the licence at the hearing whilst over a hundred local residents living around the Common and local businesses were in support many asking for sound levels to be increased. We have departed from the Lambeth decision only very slightly in agreeing a settlement to this appeal and I am delighted to be able to assist the operators in once again securing this iconic summer event on Clapham Common.”