AN attempt to stage an open-air music and arts showcase on the edge of Trafford has been blocked - amid concerns regarding social distancing.

Promoters from Animal Crossing had identified land off Pomona Strand, in Old Trafford, for a 300-strong gathering on August 30.

This would have been in the wake of what they say was the UK's first such open-air event, which took place on a rooftop off Cheetham Hill Road last weekend.

But Trafford Council licensing bosses had objected to the temporary event notice bid on the grounds it did not comply with current Covid-19 guidance on social distancing and public safety.

Promoter Oliver Ryder said that before the pandemic his outfit had been responsible for staging events for up to 80,000 people.

He told the borough's licensing committee that the latest series of gatherings had been designed with the current pandemic in mind.

Mr Ryder said: "This is the most important thing at the minute, with everything that is going on in the world."

Tickets would be sold for guests within strict social bubbles, with each individual area at the site fenced off to maintain distancing, he added.

Track and trace information would be taken from all those attending, councillors were told, and temperature checks conducted upon arrival. Food and drink provisions would also be carefully segregated.

Angela Pollitt, an environment health officer, said current guidance stated that reducing social distancing from two metres to one metre should only occur where it was unavoidable. There were also concerns with a submitted risk assessment.

"This document only allows for one metre distancing for a very large volume of people and the tables are only one metre apart," she added.

She also told the committee that no information had been provided about toilets.

Mr Ryder said these distances could be adjusted but committee chairman Cllr Anne Duffield said councillors could only determine the application based on the information before them.

Questions had also arisen over whether the land was owned by the council or a third party.

Later Cllr Duffield said: "Our decision is we are going to serve a counter-notice and not allow this event to take place on the grounds of an inadequate risk assessment and on the grounds of public safety."

The committee heard the promoter could appeal that decision before local magistrates.