Stadium noise levels are tolerable, says QC

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NOISE levels at Mildenhall Stadium were ‘consistently tolerable’, the QC defending a £500,000 compensation claim told the High Court on Friday.

Robert McCracken, QC, defending past and present owners and operators of the West Row stadium said it had been producing noise since the 1980s and added: “Our submission is that the evidence demonstrates that the noise is tolerable to the reasonable or average person.”

He told the court on the last day of the trial, that the stadium brought social benefits to the area, both economic and by providing a distraction for teenagers who might otherwise be lured into anti-social behaviour. He said the stadium had wide support among the local community.

Ray Shields and his wife Katherine Lawrence are suing, claiming their lives became a nightmare after moving in 2006 into the bungalow Fenland, 500 metres from the stadium. They earlier told the court that the roar of bangers and bikes drove them inside. They said they were told the stadium was used mostly for greyhound racing with minimal motocross.

On Friday, their QC Peter Harrison cited noise experts’ evidence which, he said, showed levels were invasive and above the norm even compared to other motor-racing circuits.

Earlier, he claimed the couple’s complaints led to an alleged harassment campaign ‘conducted by or on behalf of some or all of the defendants’. They moved out after their home and car were attacked with a forklift in April 2010. Two months later the bungalow was gutted in an arson attack, the High Court was told.

Mr Harrison added that harassment allegations against one defendant, Anthony Morley, had been dropped.

Those being sued are: Stadium owner and operator, David Mitchell Coventry (trading as RDC Promotions); the motocross track tenant and operator, Moto-Land UK Ltd; freehold owners of the land, Terence Raymond Waters and Anthony Walter Morley, and the stadium’s owner between 2005 and 2008, James Edward Waters.

Mr McCracken said claims of harassment were groundless and unsupported by evidence.

Judge Richard Seymour QC will give his ruling at a later date.