Applause for Councillors as they reject retrospective application for motocross track


The site was first used by local youngsters but the scale and frequency of events in recent years caused annoyance locally

A retrospective planning application for a motocross track close to villages to the north-west of Banbury has been refused.   A number of people who live in the villages closest to the site applauded as Councillors rejected the request to use the site for events for up to 65 days each year.

The track sits on farmland close to Alkerton, Horley, Balscote, Hornton and Wroxton and was first used for motocross by local youngsters around 40 years ago, but the scale and frequency of events has grown in recent years.

Two years ago permission – with conditions – was granted, but since then negotiations over those conditions has continued.   Following a change to the site layout and due to the amount of time that has elapsed council officers felt the application should be re-considered by Councillors, with a recommendation to accept the application.

Councillor Phil Chapman is one of the District Councillors for the area.   He told Councillors there had been a step change in usage around 5 years ago with much larger vehicles attending events using  noiser bikes.   He asked that if permission was granted usage should be limited to between 11am and 4pm rather than the proposed 9am to 6pm.  However, his preference was the application be rejected.

John Offord, the Chair or Hornton Parish Council, urged Councillors to reject the application.   He said: “The latest officers report states there is no sound nuisance from the track and that’s just not true. We discovered after a Freedom of Information request to the Council a report which says ‘there is no verifiable hard evidence of the noise monitoring being done during actual races’.   In fact, residents suffer absolute misery from this track because of the noise.”

A number of Councillors spoke against the application, several questioning the need for the track and what benefits, if any, it brought to the area.

Officers warned Councillors that as the site has been in use for 40 years if they rejected the application the site owner could apply for a Lawful Development Certificate.   This could legalise the use of the site for motocross, based on the precedent it had already been used for this for such a long period of time.

Despite what some Councillors said felt like a “threat”, they went against the officers recommendation with 13 voting to reject the application and two abstaining.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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