Council calls time on Fenland moto cross track after organisers accused of “blatantly disregarding” usage restrictions

A FENLAND village due to stage the first round of British youth moto cross championships has been forced to pull out following a legal battle with a council.

A FENLAND village due to stage the first round of British youth moto cross championships has been forced to pull out following a legal battle with a council.

Organisers have called off races at Block Fen Motor Cross track near Chatteris on March 12/13 after Fenland District Council ruled too many meetings were being held there and in contravention of their planning consent.

A temporary closure notice was issued a fortnight ago and now tougher enforcement action will be considered by Fenland District Council Planning Committee next week.

Brian Higgins, chairman of the sport’s governing body, the Auto Cycle Union, said organiser Andrew Villas tried hard to keep the event running “but being such a high profile event we could not take the chance.”


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“It’s a great shame that it has been lost as a venue,” said Mr Higgins.

Bill Tilley, planning compliance officer for Fenland Council, said the site is owned by Hanson Europe which has extraction rights and permission at the quarry.

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In August 2009 the site was leased out and racing began under the ’14 day rule’ which allowed a certain amount of usage.

Complaints were received about the noise and talks opened with the organisers to receive a full planning application.

By May last year no application had been received and despite promises to the contrary, said Mr Tilley, no application was received.

Last September activities at the track were halted after the site owners, Hanson, got involved.

Mr Tilley said all was quiet until January when racing resumed, but this time with council compliance officers keeping watch.

By the middle of last month, he said, it was clear the site had already been used for 14 individual days “thereby ending the amount of days usage the site could have.” With bookings going through until September he said it was clear the organisers, Fenland Resource Management “were blatantly disregarding the 14 days usage rule or were not interested in complying with the rule.”

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