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Council 'would like to act, but can't' over West Norfolk music event bid, meeting told

Council chiefs say they are powerless to prevent so-called "legal raves" happening on land in a West Norfolk village, despite fears of disorder and the potential spread of coronavirus.

A meeting has heard residents in Northwold feel "let down" by what they see as a lack of action to prevent gatherings from taking place at the Thetford Road site.

But the borough council's leadership says officials' hands are tied by a "loophole" in the law.

GV ofthe Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn. (19768065)
GV ofthe Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn. (19768065)

Concerns about the use of the land, which is understood to be the subject of an ongoing premises licence application, for music events were raised during a borough council session yesterday.

Ward councillor Tom Ryves said residents were "very worried" by the proposals and the apparent inability of the authority to prevent such gatherings from taking place on public health grounds, even during a global pandemic.

He said: "People in my ward feel very let down about this and they require our council to do something to help them."

Tom Ryves
Tom Ryves

But Paul Kunes, cabinet member for commercial services, said action would be needed at a higher political level before they could act.

He said: "We realise it's a terrible situation and the licensing people would like to do something. But, at the moment, their hands are tied by the law.

"We are now asking for a risk assessment to show that the people organising this event are doing it properly. But if they come up with an adequate risk assessment that we're happy is safe, there is nothing we can do.

"Believe me we would like to and we are pushing higher up in Government to get this loophole sorted because, I agree with you, we don't think they should be going ahead."

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