The historic Greater Manchester village where there are fears it will soon become the "next Glastonbury"

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Whitebottom Farm has received permission to host “festivals, weddings and parties” in a designated area of its land.

People in an historic Greater Manchester village have shared fears that they could get “another Glastonbury” on their doorstep after a farm was given the green light to use its barns and hardstanding area for music festivals.

Whitebottom Farm in Compstall, Stockport, received permission on Wednesday to host “festivals, weddings and parties” in a designated area of its land. Residents in the village tried to stop it by submitting 69 objections, raising concerns about traffic and anti-social behaviour during events.

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The farm already holds a number of festivals – including country, rock, and traditional Irish music, with events having taking place on the site for around 10 years. Cars access the farm through the residential Montagu Street and Etherow Country Park, on a path shared by pedestrians.

A picture of Compstall village in Stockport, where the nearby Whitebottom Farm has gained planning permission to host music festivals. Picture: Manchester Evening NewsA picture of Compstall village in Stockport, where the nearby Whitebottom Farm has gained planning permission to host music festivals. Picture: Manchester Evening News
A picture of Compstall village in Stockport, where the nearby Whitebottom Farm has gained planning permission to host music festivals. Picture: Manchester Evening News | ABNM Photography

One Compstall resident on Montagu Street, who asked not to be named, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “They come from far and wide. You get a backlog of traffic and it’s not in keeping with the area when you get thousands of people coming. I don’t want another Glastonbury here.”

Councillors granted permission at the Marple Area Committee on Wednesday after hearing arguments in favour and opposing the application. The application was first submitted to the council in March 2019.

Speaking at the meeting, resident Tony Lynch asked why Stockport council hadn’t done anything to prevent previous events. He said: “This is simply about development in the green belt adjacent to a Grade II-listed building. The report pack states that inappropriate development is harmful to the green belt and should not be approved expect in very special circumstances.

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“In my view there are no special circumstances and I find the planner’s recommendation a perverse decision. If it had been a simple decision, then why has it taken five years to reach this point? Why has no enforcement action taken place during the five years during which the application has been in, to prevent the barn’s use for events, which planning officers accepted is and always has been unauthorised?”

Not everyone was against the festivals taking place. Hazel Pargeter, 55, told the LDRS: “Not all the villagers don’t like it, some help behind the bar during events. Karl – the owner – does his best to listen to the concerns. The traffic does increase, but it’s only four times a year.”

The application site is within the green belt, and the barns will be used for housing the farm’s livestock between December and March, turning into an event space for the remaining eight months of the year.

Karl Hancock, the owner of Whitebottom Farm, told the LDRS his uncle bought the farm in 1964 and it is a family-run business.

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He said: “We’ve used the barn for festivals for the last 10 or 11 years and we just had to get all the bits and pieces tied up. It was great to get permission so we can just carry on moving on. We’ve tried to speak to people, but they don’t want to know what we’ve got to say. There’s a traffic management plan which is tweaked every year – we work closely with the police and fire brigade on that.”

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