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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 February 2006, 20:10 GMT
Open-air concerts put in doubt
Ali Campbell of UB40
The Forestry Commission may appeal against the decision to refuse a licence for the concerts
Plans for two open-air concerts expected to attract 5,000 music fans are in doubt after councillors refused to grant a licence.

The Forestry Commission, which owns the site in Cannock Chase, wants to host events featuring UB40 and Embrace.

The Commission may look into options to appeal against the decision by Cannock Chase District Council.

Residents in nearby Slitting Mill claim the events in June would cause noise, traffic and environmental problems.

The commission said there were no objections from 17 statutory bodies it had to consult including the police, fire service and the Highways Agency.

We felt we'd put in a lot of controls in that would soften the effect
Ian Hickman

Ian Hickman, Forest District Manager for the West Midlands, said "We felt we'd put in a lot of controls in that would soften the effect.

"We'll have a look at the reasons why it was refused and see if we've any grounds to take an appeal forward."

The Forestry Commission says people who have bought tickets should keep them, adding refunds will be made if the concerts cannot go ahead.

Resident Margaret Price said the area needs to be protected.

She said: "The area that has been cleared has been a haven for wildlife. In the last year I've seen kestrels, monkjack, foxes.

"It's one of the ten most outstanding tranquil areas in Britain, and we've got to try and preserve it."

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