Despite two days of hearings at Bromley Magistrates Court at the end of last week, a final decision on whether the planned On Blackheath festival won’t be made for at least another month, with proceedings now due to resume on 4 and 5 April. In case you’re new to this little saga, the Blackheath Society is objecting to Lewisham Council granting an alcohol licence for a two-day music festival on the Hare & Billet Road side of the heath on 10/11 September.
Doubling the length of the proceedings means doubling the cost – meaning the stakes get higher for those involved, and a possible drain on the funds of Lewisham Council, who approved the licence last October.
In the meantime, organisers tell me they’re planning to hold an event in the next few weeks to talk to locals about their plans, more details of which will hopefully emerge soon.
My previous posts on the planned event, Blackheath’s festival organisers speak out and On Blackheath: Greenwich councillors object keep on attracting lots of comments, as do those over at the Blackheath Bugle.
One aspect of the affair which intrigues me is the role of Lewisham Council’s parks contractor Glendale in all this. Lewisham’s patch of Blackheath (south of Shooters Hill Road) is run on the council’s behalf by the company as part of an outsourcing deal. In Greenwich Council’s budget debate last week, while criticising Conservative suggestions that Greenwich should outsource some services, Greenwich West Labour councillor David Grant claimed Glendale benefits financially from holding events in Lewisham’s parks – including the festival on the heath. There’s no love lost across the border on this one.