BELFAST City Council have provisionally granted a late licence for four events as preparations for the annual Féile An Phobail heat up.

At the council’s Licensing Committee meeting, elected members granted a request from the organisers of Féile to permit entertainment planned to run beyond 11pm on up to four occasions, between Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 14.

A seven-day annual outdoor entertainments licence and a seven-day annual indoor licence for a marquee had already been granted for Falls Park. The licence covered Monday to Sunday from 11.30am to 11pm.

Councillors granted the late licence until 1am for four events at this year’s festival – Féile Diversionary Event dance concert on August 8, Imelda May and Damien Dempsey on August 12, Féile 80’s Night on August 13 and for the Féile Finalé on August 14.

Councillors heard that the council’s Environmental Protection Unit received a total of 13 noise complaints over last year's festival, with the majority related to the volume of music and finishing time of the dance event on August 8 last year.

A council officer told the committee: “The festival has been running for some time now. It did run for more nights but in recent years the event organisers have cut that back to three or four nights, to try and limit the disruption on the local community.

“We have contacted the police in relation to these extended hours, but we haven’t received a response as of yet. If you are minded to approve the extended hours, it is suggested this would be subject to a satisfactory response from the PSNI.”

The council report states: “The complaints mentioned were brought to the attention of the event organisers by this service following the conclusion of the festival and will be highlighted to them and their acoustic consultant in preparation for this year’s festival.

“No formal action was undertaken by EPU in respect of the noise complaints received. The noise mitigation strategy must demonstrate that noise from the event will not cause unreasonable disturbance to commercial and residential premises."

The conditions mean the council gets to decide the number of people attending each individual concert, based on the organisers proposals. From now on all requests for entertainment after 11pm will need to be applied for three months in advance.

An outdoor boxing match and MMA contest have also been scheduled as part of the festival on Saturday, August 6 and Thursday, August 11 respectively. These activities do not require to be licensed as they fall outside the definition of outdoor entertainment.

The Committee's decision will be subject to ratification at full council meeting next Monday (July 4).