Here’s why a decision on new venue for Worthing Pride has been delayed

A meeting to discuss changes to Worthing’s Pride festival has been postponed.

Organisers of the annual event, which celebrates the LGBTQI+ community, are currently seeking permission to change the venue.

But a meeting to discuss the relocation from Beach House grounds to Steyne Gardens has now been postponed until March.

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The festival, which is permitted to host up to 5,000 attendees, is due to take place between Friday July 8 and Saturday July 9 this year.

Last year's Worthing Pride at Beach House grounds

A statement on the council’s website says the delay is ‘necessary’ and ‘in the public interest’ to give the organisers time to create a noise management plan.

This comes after more than 20 residents, most of whom live at Warnes, directly adjacent to Steyne Gardens, objected to the venue change.

They had concerns about potential noise and music late at night, security, anti-social behaviour, and litter.

But a Worthing Pride Limited spokesperson said they had ‘not received a single noise complaint’ nor any reports of anti-social behaviour in the event’s history.

Organisers said: “Worthing Pride is an event for the whole community and we want to make the event a safe and enjoyable space for all those who attend, as well as the residents and businesses surrounding.

“There is a slight misconception that we are looking to move from Beach House grounds to Steyne Gardens because we have outgrown the grounds, this is not the case as both sites hold the same agreed capacity of 5,000 guests.

“We have yet to receive a single noise complaint, anti-social behaviour issue or any means of community upset during our previous events.

“We do not foresee 2022 being any different – the amount of planning and infrastructure we have in place guarantees this.”

In response to the objections, organisers agreed to reduce the duration of the event by one day and brought opening hours back from 1 am to 11 pm.

Since the changes were made, at least four residents have withdrawn their objections as they are satisfied with the new plans.

It is hoped that the delayed licensing hearing will allow mediation to take place with those who still object.

If this is successful, a licensing hearing may not be required and a decision will be made on the venue change.