Residents object to Sunrise Festival plans in Wiltshire

Sunrise festival 2012 Last year rain turned the site into a sea of mud

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Plans to stage a music festival at a former golf course in Wiltshire are being opposed by some local residents.

Organisers of the Sunrise Festival want to hold the event at Thoulstone Park near Chapmanslade at the end of May.

The four-day festival, staged on a farm in Somerset since 2009, is looking to relocate after heavy rain turned the site into a sea of mud in 2012.

Some residents have fears on drinking, drugs and loud music. Organisers say they are working with police.

Last year heavy rain resulted in a washout, and in 2008 flash flooding caused the event to be abandoned.

Organisers have now applied to Wiltshire Council for a licence to hold the event at the 150-acre former golf course near Warminster with acts including The Beat, The Dub Pistols and Utah Saints.

Dennis Barnard, chairman of Chapmanslade Parish Council, said people living nearby were "very concerned" about music being played until 03:00 BST.

Festival-goers play with fire at the Sunrise Celebration Festival organisers say they are working with Wiltshire Police on a zero-tolerance approach to drugs

"These festival organisers have previously run festivals at Bruton, which is about 13 miles away," he said.

"We could hear from Chapmanslade, we could hear the music from those festivals.

"And there will be probably some alcohol - there will be some drugs - possibly - and we're very concerned about young people wandering about at night. There's a huge possibility of accidents with fast moving traffic with very little light on that road."

'Zero tolerance drugs'

But festival director Alex Leppingwell said it was "working up a method of operation with Wiltshire Police".

"It's essentially a zero-tolerance approach to drugs and there will be a very, very stringent search of everyone coming on to site," he said.

"And we take the whole stewardship of the land that we're on very, very seriously.

"We're interested in making sure that we leave the place better then when we arrived, as in we pick the place clear for rubbish and we make sure that we take really good care of the ground."

Wiltshire Council has yet to grant a licence, and comments can be submitted up until 4 April.

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