Bilderberg protesters hoping to hold a fringe festival in Cassiobury Park have had their application turned down.

Watford Borough Council rejected the bid today on the grounds the application had not been submitted in time.

Applicants wanting to host events in the borough's parks need to apply three months in advance.

However the authority said the application, which was submitted on Tuesday, also received objections from its environmental officers and Hertfordshire Constabulary.

The decision casts uncertainty over the police operation to surrounding the secretive Bilderberg Group meeting due to take place at The Grove hotel, next weekend.

The organisation’s annual conferences, which includes some of the world’s most influential politicians, business leaders and academics, has also attracted a growing number of demonstrators over the last few years.

The group only publishes lists of its guests after its meetings have begun and does not release any record or minutes of what is discussed.

Opponents of the group argue that scores of world leaders and powerbrokers meeting is secret undermines open democratic government.

Hundreds or even thousands of protesters are expected to descend on Watford for the conference next week.

Today the Hertfordshire Constabulary told the Watford Observer it plans to set up a small area for demonstrators inside the grounds of The Grove hotel.

This area, which will accommodate around 200 people, will be overseen by the private company handling security inside the grounds, G4S.