Villis backs down on moto cross appeal, must pay costs, and told inspector dealing with ‘matters of law and fact’

16:17 08 November 2012

An aerial shot of Mepal Motopark, at Block Fen, where the crash took place.

An aerial shot of Mepal Motopark, at Block Fen, where the crash took place.

Archant

PROMOTER Andrew Villis withdrew his appeal against enforcement action by Fenland District Council and accepted he can only use Block Fen Drove, Chatteris, 14 days a year for motocross racing.

Mr Villis must also pay costs of the appeal hearing to Fenland Council following a hearing last month at which he tried to link elements of ‘supermarket-gate’ with his own plight.

Appeal inspector John Murray said in a written judgement that the “gist of his complaint” was that Fenland Council was being challenged over its handling of applications for supermarkets in Whittlesey.

Mr Murray said the company run by Mr Villis- Fenland Resource Management Ltd- had claimed the conduct of councillors was an issue.

Fenland Resource Management “considered these factors brought into question” the way the application had been considered. Mr Villis had contended his actions had been influenced by councillors and officers who were also involved in the Whittlesey supermarket debate and as a result the Human Rights Act ought to mean he was entitled, at least, to a month’s adjournment.

But Mr Murray refused to budge, insisting that whatever was happening elsewhere had no affect and that at Mepal MotoPark, Block Fen, he was dealing with “matters of law and fact”.

Mr Murray added: “They do not hinder my ability to give the appellant a fair hearing.”

As it stands Mr Villis can operate the track for 14 times a year but must remove such items as portable toilets, fencing, posts, marshalling boxes and waste skips after each meeting.

One local resident told Fenland District Council that events at the site were “like having a swarm of bees buzzing in our heads for very long periods”.

And the neighbour pleaded with the authority: “Please will you and your enforcement officers do everything you can to ensure that it ceases as soon as possible? Over the last three years the motor sports at Block Fen have been a living nightmare for us and our family.”

In the past Mr Villis has failed to produce noise reports and failed to produce information to show he had monitored noise.

He is a director of Fenland Resources Management Ltd and a joint applicant with Hanson Quarry Products Ltd, which is trying to get planning consent to use the site for the next five years for motocross and to allow touring caravans onto the site.

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