Outdoor events company in Tolpuddle to operate 4 days a week

Outdoor events company in Tolpuddle to operate 4 days a week

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:08am 28th January 2020.

An extension has been agreed for outdoor events at a Tolpuddle farm site which attracts thousands of visitors a year.

Councillors decided the Max Events site at Shakes Hole, off the Southover Farm road, can up its operating schedule from two to four days a week, with longer hours during the summer.

Dorset Council planning committee members heard that the business brought income and jobs into the area – although critics say it also brings litter and noise.

But planning officers said noise surveys showed little additional effect from activities and it was not possible to link litter reported by the parish council to people attending the site.

Dorset Council, south walks house

Nigel Pitman told the planning committee, meeting in Sturminster Newton on Tuesday, that Max Events hoped to use the additional days and hours to attract families and groups.

He said the site had received no significant complaints about noise and litter bins were provided. He said: 

"This has been a positive and sensitive employer for ten years."


In a letter to the planning committee Affpuddle and Briantspuddle parish councillors said the extra use of the site would affect walkers and those using nearby bridleways.


It also claimed that litter was seen around the immediate area of the site which was not found elsewhere in the parish.

Dorchester councillor Les Fry welcomed the extra time, commenting that with agricultural machinery the countryside was often a noisy place. He said:

"This will be good for the local area. It will bring people in and help the economy."

The variation of conditions will allow activities to be held on the site four days a week, excluding Sundays, with opening hours between 8am and 6.30pm between the start of April and end of September.

Knightsford group of parishes objected to the changes saying:

"There are 23 houses and flats at Clyffe the nearest of which is 500m from Shakes Hole.

"The potential noise of revving engines for 4 days a week would be intolerable."

Letters of objection were also received from 12 individuals raising concerns about noise and disturbance, with nine people writing to support the application.

The site has been approved for the use of archery, off-road buggy racing, clay pigeon shooting, 4×4 vehicle driving and blind driving through a range of obstacles, since February 2008.

archery target

At the time condition was granted for no more than two days in a week with the hours limited to 9am to 5.30pm.

Clay pigeon shooting is restricted to one day a week.

The company say the business currently attracts visitors, mainly from groups staying at Dorset hotels, and has created two full-time jobs and work for 25 part-time staff. 

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter