Ilfracombe residents angered by fireworks
COUPLES wanting to round off their wedding day with a firework display at one of North Devon's popular wedding venues will soon be disappointed.
Tunnels Beaches in Ilfracombe is having to tell wedding parties that they can no longer have fireworks on the beach following complaints from residents.
The issue was raised on Ilfracombe Town Council's Facebook page last Monday by a member of the public which prompted others to have their say on how the fireworks had affected them.
Some people said the fireworks have been waking up their children and disturbing their animals late at night.
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Nicola Payne, who lives in Ilfracombe, said the Tunnels needs to realise how much it is upsetting local residents.
Councillor Paul Crabb responded to the complaints by saying that Tunnels Beaches is a real success story and that it is due to the popularity of the location that this problem has come about in the first place.
He added: "I think what happened on Monday, is that rather than the usual £100 worth from your local corner shop, the bride shipped in a big professional display, and believe me, there's a big difference."
He added: "The latter makes your windows rattle. But that may well be the last of the big ones."
Fireworks are allowed between the hours of 7am and 11pm but some residents say they have been going off after this time.
However Tunnels Beaches do not supply the fireworks and are not involved in the usage of them as they are organised by wedding parties themselves.
They also do not make any money out of the fireworks and say it is not something they encourage or promote.
Jamie McLintock, director at Tunnels Beaches Limited, said: "Approximately 10% of our 120 weddings are holding fireworks this year.
"We made the decision several months ago that future bookings would not be permitted to have fireworks.
"The nature of wedding bookings is that they are placed several years in advance, so we have felt obliged to honour existing requests.
"We had a couple of issues with fireworks being set off too late in the evening earlier in the season, so have insisted that all fireworks have been set off before 11pm since."
He said: "We have also kept a log as quite a few occurrences where residents had thought fireworks had come from the Tunnels were actually elsewhere.
"As I say, there will not be any in 2013 and I anticipate a very small number left in 2012.
"I hope residents have not been too affected, and can assure them that this will not be an ongoing issue."
Jamie added that 98% of the weddings held at the beaches are for couples living outside of the South West.
The 120 weddings held so far this year have helped to bring in an additional 10,000 visitors to Ilfracombe.