An organisation has applied for planning permission in the South Downs National Park between Alton and Bordon.
This planning application concerns a site off the B3004 in the parish of Worldham. Application details:
SDNP/19/03709/FUL Change of use of Oakland Farm and associated land holdings from Agriculture and B8 (Open Storage) to mixed use Agriculture, B8 (Open Storage) and Seasonal Event Space associated with the holding of a Religious Festival associated with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association; alongside the provision of external storage space, new landscape and revised ventilation. To fine out more or to comment of the application go to: https://planningpublicaccess.southdowns.gov.uk/online-applications/ and put the reference in the search box: SDNP/19/03709/FUL
This application follows the withdrawal of application SDNP/18/02170/FUL previously under-determination by the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA), and the officer’s recommendation for refusal. The event is currently run under the 28 day rule for agricultural properties. So far there have been over 120 objections to this latest application. The previous application attracted over 170 objections. The application is seeking to extend the period of the event to 7 weeks, of which 4 days would be for the event, with the remaining time taken for erection and dismantling of the site infrastructure. In addition it seeks to increase attendance to a maximum limit of 50,000.
The planning application states:
- The Application site is 74ha, and lies adjacent to two SSSIs and a SAC.
- The festival, known as the Jalsa Salana, is organised by the AMA and is usually held in the UK, every year, on or around the last weekend of July. The recent number of participants is assessed at 38,000, with people attending from more than 100 countries.
- It is envisaged that the overall vehicle attendance for on-site parking as a whole will not exceed 3,900 per day on the basis of the measures that have been taken by the AMA to maximise the use of contracted coaches and public transport. Further parking is made available for up to 5000 vehicles at Country Market, a small retail park some 3 miles from the event site with buses laid on for transport to the event site.
- Currently, the gathering extends over three days, beginning on Friday after the Friday Sermon, with site construction and dismantling taking and additional 25 – 30 days.