An application to allow the motocross track at West Row to open longer and for 52 more days a year was approved by councillors last night.
Forest Heath District Council’s Development Control Committee accepted its officers’ recommendation to approve by 13 votes to one, in spite of more than 40 objections.
Yet the councillors’ decision becomes irrelevant if the ruined Fenland bungalow, 860m from the track behind Mildenhall Stadium, is rebuilt because the bungalow’s owners have a Supreme Court injunction limiting noise to 45 decibels.
Officers have recommended Forest Heath District Council’s Development Control Committee approve the application, though two parish councils, a neighbouring district council, a residents’ group and 40 other people have objected.
The application has been made by the landowner Terry Waters, father of Forest Heath council leader James Waters, with the track’s leaseholder and operator Cliff Bastick, who owns Pear tree Farm, the nearest occupied property.
The track currently operates every other Sunday from April to October from 10am to 4pm with six of the Sundays being event days when it runs until 6pm
From November to March it is used every Sunday from 10am to 4pm including five event days until 4pm;
It is also used for practise and training from 10am to 4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The application if for a two-year permission to operate weekends 9am to 6pm from January to May.
From June to August it would also operate every other Sunday from 9am to 6pm with three Saturdays operation on request to the council.
From September to December it would open all weekends, 9am to 6pm,
Tuesday and Thursday practise days would start an hour earlier.
It would revert to the current opening times if Mr Bastick sold Pear Tree Farm.
Mildenhall and Isleham parish councils have objected because they fear an increase in noise nuisance. East Cambridgeshire District Council expressed ‘concerns’ over the increased use.
Isleham Marina Lodge Owners Association, who live across the River Lark from the site, said: “The noise on the island during track events is already unacceptable and anything that adds to the amount of noise or number of days or hours we have to endure it is totally unacceptable.”
It also expressed doubts over the findings of a noise survey.
The officer’s report argues: “Survey results for a race day event indicate that only at the site boundary and Pear Tree Farm do noise levels exceed lowest observed adverse effect level, although Spring Hall Farm and Fenland come quite close to the threshold.”
It says that at Isleham Marina ‘bike noise could be heard over the ambient climate, but not excessively so’.
The recommendation is for permission to only apply to Mildenhall Moto-cross Ltd and not the land.