Promotor “disappointed but not surprised” that motocross planning application refused
THE man behind controversial plans to run motocross events at Mepal has vowed to appeal last week’s decision to refuse planning permission for the enterprise.
Andrew Villis says he was “disappointed, but not surprised” when Fenland District Council turned down plans for a five-year permission to run motocross on the site at Block Fen.
Mepal Parish Council and Chatteris Town Council opposed the plan and a number of nearby residents wrote letters objecting on grounds of noise, despite plans for the erection of four-metre high banks to reduce the impact.
Mr Villis said: “It is fair to say we will appeal the decision. There is clearly a solution there if the council is of a mind to accept the noise attenuation proposals.”
Applicants Fenland Resource Management Ltd and Hanson Quarry Products Ltd had applied for permission to use 20 acres at Block Fen Drove in Mepal as a venue to host motorsport events along with four portable buildings and the use of land for the siting of recreational motor vehicles.
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Mr Villis confirmed that motocross events – which can be held 14 days each year without permission – will continue, and there is a championship event due to take place next month.
He was also critical of the decision and added: “Their minds are closed to anything not mainstream. We will take advice about an appeal and will continue operating, pending that appeal.”
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Neighbours of the site have described the noise levels as “unacceptable” and one objector has asked for a stop notice to be served. The planning application was deferred last month by the council to allow for a noise report to be studied.
One neighbour said; “Over the last three years the motor sports at Block Fen have been a living nightmare for us and our family,” while another said the noise from the site was like “a swarm of bees buzzing in my head”.
Fenland District Council turned down the plan because it was not satisfied with the noise/acoustic report and it felt not enough information was given to show whether the operation would effect adjoining residential properties.
It also said there was a lack of ecological information and that the applicant had failed to submit satisfactory proposals for the restoration of the site and the building of the proposed banks might prejudice the restoration of the site.