herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

New licence rules ‘won’t stop another Garthgate’

Last summer, the US country star’s five gigs at Croke Park were scrapped after opposition from residents.
Last summer, the US country star’s five gigs at Croke Park were scrapped after opposition from residents.

RESIDENTS living near Croke Park have said new licensing rules do not go far enough to prevent a repeat of another Garth Brooks-type controversy.

During the Brooks’ fiasco the US country star’s five gigs at Croke Park were scrapped after opposition from residents.

Under new regulations, it will be mandatory for concert promoters to have ‘pre-application’ talks with the relevant local authority prior to submitting a licence application.

The proposals will also require promoters to arrange consultative meetings with relevant parties. Failure to comply with the guidelines will result in the automatic rejection of a licence application.

Promoters which advertise or sell tickets prior to engaging in the consultative process will also be denied a licence.

Licensing requests must be lodged at least 13 weeks in advance of an event. If it is proposed additional performances are to be  added to a schedule already announced, a further consultation meeting will be required, before permission for these concerts is granted.

Timescale

The public consultation period for event licence applications is to be reduced from five to three weeks.

Eamon O’Brien, chairman of the Croke Park Streets Committee, said that the new proposals did not allow sufficient time for residents to be properly consulted. “The proposed timescale is too short, for both experts and community representatives, to examine an application, and decide how to deal with it. Our rights need to be upheld and we need to be treated fairly.

“There’s still the risk that people located next to big stadia will be hit harder than others. Also, the licensing arrangements should not supersede existing planning laws.

“For example, Croke Park has planning permission for three events a year – it should remain three a year.”

He also said a provision should have been included in the new regulations so that local communities benefit from “kickbacks”, by way of financial investment in local amenities.

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