HEAVEN knows seafront caravan owners are miserable now in a noise row over plans for a tribute to indie music icons The Smiths on their doorstep.
A musical celebration of the legendary 1980s Manchester band is planned as part of a celebration of indie music in a marquee outside The Rattler pub at South Shields seafront on Sunday, August 17 – from 4pm to 10.30pm.
But the plan has infuriated people living in caravans at the nearby Sandhaven Caravan Park – some of whom live just 25 metres from the venue.
They are anxious over the implications of potential late-night noise and disturbance on their sleeping patterns and well-being.
And amid fears that the application could be the tip of the iceberg, a petition signed by more than 60 park residents is to be submitted to the council’s licensing sub-committee when it meets next Wednesday at South Shields Town Hall from 10am.
The petition states that “outside entertainment in the car park next to The Rattler public house would cause unacceptable noise, and possible crowd disturbance to the owners and occupiers of the adjacent caravan park and chalets to the rear of the car park.”
Appearing on the bill at the ‘Retro Radio Indie Festival’ – tickets for which cost £20 – will be The Smiths Ltd, The Complete Stone Roses and Tom Hingley, former frontman of The Inspiral Carpets.
Earlier on the same day a kids’ fun event is planned to take place from 11am to 1pm.
The day before – Saturday, August 16 – eight local bands are also set to perform as part of a festival of music.
One caravan owner, who did not wish to be named, said: “There are a number of people on this caravan park who are suffering from cancer and other serious health problems, including strokes.
“This is a caravan park with a number of elderly people, and the stress from events like this are the last thing that they need. It appears that Sandhaven and the people who live here are not really considered to be a community.
“But we live and sleep here – this is my home and my wife’s home for nine months of the year. We should be treated the same as people in any other part of the town.”
Concern has also been expressed that families with young children will be adversely affected by the event, amid fears over what other events the pub has planned in future.
Steve Ski, manager of The Rattler, has attempted to address the concerns of caravan owners.
He said: “Under the licence we are applying for we can only stage six events a year – one-off events.
“This is not an application for events 365 days of the year, and if it is granted, we will be bound by certain conditions.
“I think people have looked at the public notice and come to the wrong conclusion and I will e-mailing the complainants to address their concerns and hopefully have the objections withdrawn before next week’s licensing meeting.
“I have to say that there have been no objections to this application from either the police or the Fire Brigade.”