PLANS to increase the number of concerts and outdoor events held at a country estate have put two aristocrats at loggerheads.

Charlbury residents fear that Lord Rotherwick’s plan for up to 14 annual events at Cornbury Park will cause too much noise.

The peer has applied for a licence to hold four events a year for up to 19,999 people and 10 with up to 5,000 people. Each would take place over a maximum of four days.

More than 70 people have complained to West Oxfordshire District Council, which will decide whether to grant Lord Rotherwick a premises licence for the events.

The estate has hosted the Cornbury Music Festival since 2004 but organiser Hugh Phillimore will this year move it to near Great Tew. A ‘Wilderness Festival’ will instead be held at Cornbury.

One of the opponents of the new licence is Rosita Marlborough, the Duchess of Marlborough, who lives at Lee Place, in Charlbury. She is the former wife of the Duke of Marlborough, who owns Blenheim Palace, in Woodstock.

She wrote: “In the interest of wellbeing in the community, I should like to object most strongly to this licence application being granted.”

Town resident Caroline Dodds told the council: “The number and duration of these events would render our properties uninhabitable.

“I understand incessant noise is used as torture, and this is illegal. How on earth can this situation be different?

“If this is legally permissible it surely must be morally wrong.”

Glena Chadwick, a district councillor for Charlbury and Finstock, wrote: “Most people in the town who have spoken to me about it have been alarmed and concerned.”

Lord Rotherwick said he was “devastated” by the comments about his proposals.

He said: “It seemed better that we held an overall licence for all events we do, rather than applying for licences for individual events. We were advised to go this route after a meeting with West Oxfordshire District Council’s licensing department.”

He added: “We have no wish to cause inconvenience to our neighbours, but we carry out events as part of our business in running this historically important deer park.

“We’re not talking about anything other than family-friendly festivals.”

The licence would allow plays, films, live music, recorded music and dancing from 10am to 2am. The 19,999-people events would run in the main arena until midnight.

Indoor sporting events would be allowed until 2am. Alcohol could be served all day if the licence is granted.

The plan has attracted nine letters of support, including one from Alison Cavendish, who wrote: “In the past, Cornbury Festival has been not only an enjoyable, family-friendly event, but crucial for Charlbury in terms of fundraising for Charlbury Primary School and pre-school.”

The Great Tew event, to run from July 1-3, has been granted a licence, after no complaints were received.

The council’s licensing panel will make a decision on the Cornbury Park application at a meeting at 2pm on Monday, at the council offices in Wood Green, Witney.