A Wye-side arts festival has been granted a licence for later this month and for the next five years, despite some nearby residents’ ongoing opposition to it.

HowTheLightGetsIn, a “philosophy, music and entertainment festival”, can now go ahead on May 24-27 on a field between Newport Street and the river Wye, in Cusop just over the English border from Hay-on-Wye.

Given the opposition to it locally, the bid was decided by councillors on Herefordshire’s licensing subcommittee last Friday.

Cusop parish council chairman Cllr Nick Blayney said the festival “occupies the parish council time year after year, with the same issues being raised, all to do with poor execution of the licensing conditions”.

It was “associated with quite a lot of intoxication with various substances”, he said. And noting the lateness of the licensing application relative to the festival date, he added: “I trust the committee doesn’t feel under any pressure in this regard.”

Nearby resident Crispin Elt said he and neighbours had suffered “a lot of noise, nuisance and disturbance” in previous years, while finding the large numbers of festival goers “intimidating”.

For festival organisers TVF, Ewen Macgregor said it was “telling” that there had so far been no enforcement action at the festival site, nor had traffic, police or public health officers objected to the current bid.

And it was “not correct” to claim the five-year licence would remove the need for yearly local scrutiny, he added.

The festival’s founder Hilary Lawson, director of the Institute of Art and Ideas, said it “has developed a global reputation” and that “the only reason for doing it is to improve the cultural life of the residents, and we are concerned to ensure they benefit from it”.

Putting the value locally in terms of employment and expenditure at “over a million pounds”, he said the current objectors were “the same ones as in previous years”.

“The silent majority are unworried by it,” he said.

After more than an hour’s deliberation, councillors on the committee decided to approve the application.

Chairman Cllr Polly Andrews said that “overall, it will promote the licensing objectives”.

She urged residents to use the hotline provided for any concerns during the event, “so these are properly documented”.