Motorcross event organisers defend plans for a Fenland track

Mepal track day

Mepal track day - Credit: Archant

Motorcross event organisers have defended their plan to increase the number of days they operate on a track near Mepal saying they are doing everything they can to reduce noise nuisance for local residents.

Mepal Moto Cross

Mepal Moto Cross - Credit: Archant

F-15mx, who have operated the site since January this year, say they fully discussed the site and its use with Fenland District Council before taking on a lease with Hanson Quarry’s Europe in January this year.

Businessman Martin Wright said: “We have received a limited number of complaints from three household approximately one mile from the track, we have been in contact with environmental health who have confirmed that the noise does not constitute a Statuary Nuisance, although we are still working with environmental health to reduce the noise further.

“We have also employed our own noise consultant who has confirmed that the use is not a nuisance.”

The track has been used for motorcycle racing and practicing under the 14/28 day rule set out in the town and Country Planning Act and during this time Mr Wright’s firm has ensured it has always been lawful use.

Mr Wright said: “We have submitted ecological and bio diversity reports which confirm that the use would not have an adverse effect on wildlife at the site or the surrounding area along with submitting a restoration plan that will be implemented after the motorcross use ceases.”

Concerns of people who insist that the motorcross plan is delaying the restoration set out in previous applications by mining companies are not solely down to F-15mx, as due to the current economic climate a vast amount of quarrying has been delayed, Mr Wright said.

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“Restoration in the area runs hand in hand with those works, Hanson have confirmed that works next to the site and farther afield will continue until at least 2026 and will not be completed until at least 2050 making the site an ideal place for motorcross use.

“Mepal is a unique venue for this type of use and is one of two tracks usable in wet cold winter months due to its pure sand surface; the only other one is located in Doncaster.

“The facility is used by many children and adults from across the UK and by many local people. We have an online petition that has well over 1000 supporters and have 100’s of letters of support.”

The track, between Chatteris and Mepal, is allowed to run for up to 28 days a year without planning permission, but owners want to create a permanent site that opens 114 days a year including every weekend from October to March.

In addition they want to open two weekends a month from April to September and every Wednesday.

An application is asking Fenland planners for change of use of land to motocross and recreational motorcycle riding with two storage containers, toilets, marshalling boxes, litter bins, waste skip and site cabin.

They also want permission to add raised areas, race track, car parking, track fencing posts, railings and spectator fencing.

An application is lodged with Cambridgeshire County Council asking to postpone reverting the former gravel works into a nature reserve, which is currently scheduled for 2014.

Steve Barclay MP has started an online petition calling for track plans to be refused saying it is a noise nuisance and detrimental to wildlife.

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