College ball gives neighbours an earache
15th August 2011
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Everyone remembers their last college or school ball as a farewell to education, and it seems that last year’s lot of students enjoyed it a little too much after it has been claimed that noise levels of a college ball reached higher levels than those of V Festival.  


Joanne Grimley, environmental officer at Chelmsford Council, told a council committee this week the Summer Ball at Writtle Agricultural College was the “worst case of statutory nuisance” she had heard, in spite of monitoring noise at V Festival in previous years.


Staff at the college, in Lordship Road, Writtle, have now decided not to hold next year’s ball in a marquee within the grounds, after Chelmsford Council’s environmental protection team submitted an application to review the premises license, following this year’s event on May 20.


The council’s licensing and regulatory committee was told on Tuesday that amplified music was played until 3am on May 21, and 26 complaints about the noise were received.


The levels of noise at the event were said to be “extreme” and due to the number of people affected, it amounted to a public nuisance.


Mr Kelly said: “Apart from pulling the plug I didn’t see what I could do. On six occasions I was on the engineers’ stage asking them to turn it down. It appeared to go down in volume, but the levels gradually increased again. I’m nothing but sorry for the people who were disturbed on the night.”


Ms Grimley added: “My concern is the lack of authority Mr Kelly had at the event. The premises supervisor of an event of that size should be able to be in control. Our intention isn’t to stop the event, we just think restrictions need to be put in place to prevent further public nuisance.”


An additional condition has now been applied to the college’s license that states no live or recorded music can be played in the open air or any temporary building on the site.

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