Plans for Reading Winter Wonderland this year have been opposed by local residents, who say events at Hills Meadow Car park have shown “complete disregard for the quality of life and sleep” of neighbours.

Events company Premier Winter Wonderland Events Limited is seeking a licence to play music and serve alcohol as part of its seasonal attraction from November 12 to January 3 (excluding Christmas Day).

Three residents, who live close to the car park, and a residents’ association have opposed the plans, triggering a Licensing Applications committee hearing on November 9 to decide whether the event can go ahead as planned.

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The seasonal attraction will be held at Hills Meadow Car Park, from November 13 to January 3, opening from 11am-10pm daily, if the licence is approved.

Reading Chronicle: PICTURED: Hills Meadow Car ParkPICTURED: Hills Meadow Car Park

Reading Winter Wonderland will include an ice rink, wooden chalet buildings serving food and drink, a Santa’s Grotto and more – with much of the infrastructure already installed.

The organiser has suggested a series of draft conditions for the Winter Wonderland event, which the police and council’s licensing teams have agreed to.

The committee will have to decide if these conditions are enough, if more conditions are needed or if the licence should be refused, after considering evidence from the objectors, applicant, and licensing officers.

Residents of Kingfisher Place, which is opposite the car park, have raised concerns about the plans.

David Earnshaw said the music would cause public nuisance to Kingfisher Place residents due to the loudness and bass range.

He said 12 hours and 53 days is “excessive” and suggested, if the licence is approved, the loudest equipment should be located as far away from residents at Kingfisher Place as possible.

K.G. Hill added: “Recent events featuring music have made life at Kingfisher Place very difficult.

“The recent Reading Oktoberfest on this site produced music/sound which was very disturbing even with all windows and doors closed.

“Music/sound travels straight across the River Thames and impacts on Kingfisher Place, being the first structure in its path.”

The resident said they would “appreciated further consideration of the quality of the environment for local residents”.

Another local resident, Krys Jankowski said the “increasingly more frequent, prolonged and later licensed and loud activities” at Hills Meadow, including Oktoberfest and are having a “very detrimental” impact on her sleep and enjoyment of her home.

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She said: “Prior to lockdown the space was used infrequently but activity since Easter has been noticeably more frequent, prolonged, invasive and generally nuisance-creating.

“It seemed a bit hard to complain though when people were finally able to get together safely outside after restrictions so I sucked it up – incredibly annoying, loud and ever-present as it was.

“This trend of complete disregard for the quality of life and sleep of local residents has continued, with the licensing of the current excessively noisy entertainment until 11pm seeming completely incredibly ignorant to our homes and lives.”

She said the plan for Winter Wonderland to operate for eight weekends and the weekdays in between “seems wildly excessive and disturbing” and is “not fair nor reasonable to the community”.

Complaints were also sent to the council by Helen Lambert, chairwoman of the Caversham and District Residents Association, who said 12 hours a day for seven weeks is a “substantial disturbance to expect the residents living near Hills Meadow to tolerate”.

She said there were “significant issues” at the last Winter Wonderland visit to Reading, including loud noise and bright moving lights, as well as raising concerns about the impact on wildlife.

Winter Wonderland organisers were approached for comment.