Page last updated at 07:10 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Opposition to Pembrey Park student festival for 20,000


Concerns have been raised about plans to host a controversial festival at Pembrey in Carmarthenshire

Plans to stage a summer festival for up to 20,000 students from across the UK in a coastal country park are being opposed by people living nearby.

Carmarthenshire Council is in talks with the organisers of Beach Break Live about using Pembrey Country Park.

It said no decision about the three-day event, previously staged in Cornwall and Kent, has been made but it could bring "huge benefits" to the area.

But petitions are circulating Burry Port and Pembrey opposing the idea.

The festival was launched in Cornwall in 2007 but organisers were forced to relocate to a Kent safari park last year after they were refused planning permission by councillors.

It was headlined in 2009 by Dizzee Rascal and The Zutons with other activities including sports, games, dance, arts and theatre alongside the music, bars and food.

They want to put up a huge perimeter fence with security guards
Joanne Davies

Carmarthenshire Council said if discussions to move to Pembrey were successful it could be worth £330,000 with spending on site hire, hotels, taxis, food suppliers and other event-related services.

But community councillor Joanne Davies said it was "madness" to site the festival at Pembrey.

"It's a public beauty spot and a family orientated park," she said.

"They want to put up a huge perimeter fence with security guards. They want to carry the fence down onto the beach."

She said there were also concerns about congestion, noise and litter and said if it was to be staged in the area the Festival Fields near Llanelli which hosted the 2000 National Eisteddfod would be more appropriate.

A spokeswoman for the county council said officers were in discussions with the organisers and were liaising with authorities in both Kent and Cornwall.

"This is an event which could potentially bring huge benefits to Pembrey and to Carmarthenshire in general," she added.

"All issues will be considered in detail before any decision is taken, this will include any concerns from local residents or councillors.

"Until we have all this information, it is far too early to judge whether or not the event should go ahead."

The festival was moved to Kent at the last minute in 2009
A make-shift beach was created in Kent this year for the festival

It a statement issued via the council the organisers said: "As a socially responsible entertainment-based business targeting the education sector, Beach Break Live works closely with various arts, educational, environmental, charitable and social institutions.

"We will work with the council and local community to identify local and regional organisations that we can partner with.

"The region would be exposed to a valuable demographic as an area of outstanding beauty and ultimately a UK destination of choice.

"We would expect a million people a year to be reached by our unique marketing channels, and would continue to work with the council to maximise the significant opportunities that this exposure represents to the region."

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