September 6th, 2016

Fantasy battle weekend goes off without hitch

Updated: 4:04 pm, May 07, 2015

FEARS a fantasy battle event would shatter the peace and quiet of a south Warwickshire village have proved unfounded.

Lancashire-based company Profound Decisions staged an event – involving the establishment of an imaginary medieval town, and role-playing battles – at Upper Spernall Farm near Great Alne over the Easter weekend.

Organisers had originally planned to hold the event on part of the late Felix Dennis’ estate between Long Marston, Honeybourne, Mickleton and Pebworth, but the plans were thrown out due to public opposition.

Shortly afterwards they settled on the site near Alcester but residents continued to raise concerns about the scale of the event – arguing it would create traffic and noise.

But despite around 1,500 role players attending the event it passed largely without incident.

District councillor, Mike Gittus admitted he was impressed with the way the organisers had taken on board concerns – adding a site visit for residents had helped allay many fears.

He said: “Obviously I was very worried as to the degree of impact this event would have on residents with noise and highway issues high on my list of concerns.

“But the organisers were keen to show off the participants, encouraging them to demonstrate they were all sensible and law-abiding enthusiasts.

“I was pleased to see many attendees were family groups and the game players were courteous to everyone involved.”

Managing director of Profound Decisions, Matthew Pennington, was delighted with the success of the event.

He told The Observer: “Coun Gittus worked hard to make sure we were aware of residents’ concerns and it went extremely well despite the difficult weather conditions on the run up.

“One of the key concerns was the amount of traffic connected with the event as there is a difficult junction near the site, but we monitored that and I was pleased there were no significant delays.”

Mr Pennington admitted there had been a small issue with some participants parking on the roads near the event but insisted the situation was quickly remedied.

He added: “We had focused our pre-event messages on the need to keep speeds down on the approach and had not given enough emphasis to this point.

“We managed to move most of the vehicles once they were identified, but we will be putting in place new procedures to make sure this does not happen again.

“Overall though, we are delighted with how the event went and pleased with the response so far from residents.”

The next event is set to take place at the site from May 22 to May 25 with four more lined up before the end of the year.

Mr Pennington said he was confident the remainder of this year’s events could go ahead smoothly and confirmed the company would be looking for a new site from 2016 onwards.

The event – organised by Profound Decisions – involves fantasy battles. (s)

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