Law 'not on Kenilworth's side' when it comes to horse fair, councillor admits

Traffic backing up at a previous horse fair
Traffic backing up at a previous horse fair

There is little authorities can do to stop horse fairs in Kenilworth, a district councillor has admitted.

Cllr John Cooke made the comments at a Kenilworth Town Council meeting on Thursday August 2.

He was responding to a question submitted to the town council about what could be done to stop future horse fairs on the land off Thickthorn Island.

The land has been identified in Warwick district's Local Plan for housing, but the land has not yet been sold.

Cllr Cooke said: "I'm going to stick to the facts. As chairman of Warwick District Council's planning committee, I can confirm the law is clear.

"A landowner is allowed to have events on their land for up to 28 days a year without having to obtain planning permission. Furthermore, no other licences are required.

"Trust me, if they could be legally stopped, then it would have happened a number of years ago.

"I believe the horse fair will cease only when Thickthorn has been sold and development takes place on the land. Let us hope that takes place sooner rather than later."

Anti-social behaviour was the biggest problem at last weekend's horse fair, according to Warwickshire Police. 20 incidents were reported in total.

And although the impact of the fair has slightly lessened over the years due to traffic management plans and more police officers based in Kenilworth, Cllr Cooke said it could not be stopped completely.

He added: "The bottom line is the law is on the side of the horse fair, and not with the people of Kenilworth.

"There are events that takes place which use the same regulations - various fairs, fetes, car boot sales et cetera. I suspect we wouldn't want those to stop.

"There's the rub, there's the problem."

The next fair will be held on Saturday September 29 and Sunday September 30.