The BNP has confirmed it will hold its Red, White and Blue festival in Derbyshire for the third consecutive year, despite fears of violent protests.
At last year's event, 36 anti-BNP protesters were arrested outside the site in Codnor-Denby Lane, Denby, after clashes with police. People living nearby have said they do not want the event to return and police have written to Alan Warner (pictured, left), who owns the fields used for the event, to tell him they believe the site is unsuitable for the festival. But the BNP said it could see no reason to change venues because there has been no previous trouble on the site itself. The party has now confirmed that the festival will take place in Denby on August 13, 14 and 15.
Mr Warner predicted that up to 6,000 people could come to the event. He said: "I don't know why the police think the site is unsuitable. It's near the motorway and the A38 so people can just drive straight there without going through towns. They said the site was too open to be protected from violent opponents but I don't see what that has to do with anything, because no-one was trying to get on the site last year."
Superintendent Howard Veigas had told Mr Warner the police would object if the BNP applied for a licence to sell alcohol and play music. But the BNP has said it would not be doing this and that people could bring their own alcohol if they wished.
Mr Warner said guests at the festival would again include party leader Nick Griffin as well as a number of "speakers from abroad".
A nearby resident, Brian Bentley, of Codnor-Denby Lane, said he was unhappy the BNP would be returning but doubted how many would attend. Mr Bentley, 77, said: "Noise is one of my main concerns. I think the BNP believe they are going to make gains in the coming elections because of the expenses scandal and that will mean they get more people at the festival. But the increase in visitors they are talking about is highly unlikely. I don't see how they would fit on the site."
Last year, about 400 anti-BNP protesters took part in a peaceful protest march, organised in Codnor by Unite Against Fascism, Stop the BNP and Derby's Racial Equality Council.
Council executive director Kirit Mistry said: "We are disappointed the BNP are coming back. We need to speak to police and groups such as the UAF to decide on our response."
A police spokeswoman said officers' concerns about the festival were "based on intelligence we have received and the risk that was caused by last year's violence in the area surrounding the festival".
Police only have powers to object to a music and alcohol licence being granted. They cannot object to the festival itself as it is on private land.