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Wicken Fen nature reserve extends event space for National Trust 125th anniversary celebrations

Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve will have some extra space to host events, which include showing films, plays and or hosting live music performances, as the National Trust marks its 125th anniversary.

The trust, which runs the nature reserve off Lode Lane in Wicken, sought permission to extend the area of the site covered by its existing events licence.

East Cambridgeshire District Council granted permission after the trust agreed a compromise to address the concerns raised by a neighbour.

It can already put on plays and music, screen films, host dance shows and sell alcohol under its licence in an area near to the car park and around the visitor centre.

An application said: “The premises is merely seeking this change in order to have flexibility around hosting events, specifically with respect to events surrounding their 125th anniversary for the site.”

Wicken Fen is run by the National Trust. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters
Wicken Fen is run by the National Trust. Picture: Geoffrey Pieters

A neighbour argued the move was “excessive”, telling the council: “As this application is a permanent extension to the licensed area, it does not preclude larger events then being staged in the future which would be of nuisance to the bordering residential properties.

“A reduction of the licensed area is requested within the existing car park to include only the section nearest to the road.”

The National Trust, which is marking its anniversary this year, responded by reducing the size of the requested extension in the car park area, to which the objector agreed, meaning the council did not need to hold a full hearing.

Licensing sub-committee councillors unanimously agreed to the application, with chair Cllr Keith Horgan (Con, Soham North) noting that there had been no breaches of licensing rules to date.

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