Tell the bike to take a hike - plans for a permanent motocross track meet with objections

Mepal Moto Cross Mepal Moto Cross

Monday, December 9, 2013
5:29 PM

Steve Barclay MP has joined residents and parish councillors in urging planners to call time on a motocross track which they say disturbs wildlife and ruins the peace for local residents.

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The track, based on rural land between Chatteris and Mepal, is allowed to run for 14 days a year without planning permission, but now owners want to create a permanent site that opens more often.

Track owners F15-MX want to increase use from 14 days a year to 114 days a year including every weekend from October to March.

In addition they want permission 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 required to be done in 2014.

The track cannot exist unless the deferment is granted and opposition groups say the easiest permanent solution is to refuse this permission.

Mr Barclay said: “Granting permission will be a betrayal of the expectations of residents to go back on assurances that the former gravel extraction site will be turned into a nature reserve.

“Many people have contacted me to express their alarm at the significant amount of pollution and disruption that these proposals would bring.

“I’m committed to improving sport in our community but these proposals are misguided and goes against the long term plans of the parish.”

Mr Barclay has launched a petition and is urging residents to show their support.

A couple who live in Engine Bank, said the track, which is less than a mile from the Ouse Washes and Old Bedford River, is in the middle of land that should be overflow wetlands, lakes and grasslands set aside to develop wildlife habitat to support the Ouse Washes.

They said the area was: “frequented by many bird watchers, ramblers and fishermen. We are just under a mile from the track, we experience the dreadful noise that the track makes, and can witness how that same noise is currently disturbing the Hooper Swans that are using the field behind the motocross track at present.”

They added that the stress caused by the noise had been significant, and recorded a decibel increase of 20 when the bikes were running, above that recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Chatteris Town Council have recommended the application be refused because of the noise and detrimental impact on the local area.

They say it would ruin the open countryside and noise limits could not be enforced.

Mepal Parish Council strongly object because of unacceptable noise levels, instead they want to see the land turned back to natural regeneration to improve tourism and encourage wildlife back to the area.

The long term (50 year) development plan for the area is for extended wetlands and wildlife walks including a visitor centre.

The company insists that the site would provide a local facility for off-road motorcyclists living in the area and a wider customer base for people living further afield and the activity, by its very nature, requires a location which is not within a built-up urban area.

3 comments

  • A place that brings joy to 1000s of different motocross riders across the country...

    Report this comment

    Daniel Higginson

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • Do you know why there are so many negative comments about tracks? Because the general public do not understand our sport, they do not understand our love and passion for it, they do not understand how hard we train, or how much money we save for it. From the little kids on 50cc bikes, up to the 55yr old Vets who have ridden for 40 years. We are a community. We are all at the tracks for the same reason, the adrenaline, the excitement, and because we love what we do.   Now let's turn this bias report on it's head shall we? Now, as a motocross rider, it annoys me that we have all this nature reserve land, and empty fields, where we could have a lovely big track. You are depriving people of doing their activity, even though so many of us are pleading for it. I'm certain more of us want the track, than those who don't.   From a business point of view, it's great, we all stop at the local gas station and fill up our vans, and fuel containers. We stop at the local store for some drinks and maybe food.  On a race day that's maybe 200 riders + familyfriendsspectators traveling to the track. I can image that's quite profitable for the towns trade.  Tracks are being shut all over the UK. Justify it, but don't tell me that someone 2miles away can hear a bike on a Sunday, because quite simply, most of our tracks have been around for years before the residents moved in.    Could I buy a house near an airport then complain of noise? I mean.. That's many miles sq ft that could be a nice nature reserve... 

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    Chris Barber

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • Yes, it's such a terrible thing for people to get enjoyment and use out of a piece of land. This is such a biased post it is unbelievable! There are so few tracks in this country and people are still insisting on closing them! It is just ridiculous! We have to travel so far to get to any of the few remaining tracks there are. How far do you have to travel to see a bird? I love how so many people love to take away other peoples enjoyment. In fact why don't we just close all sporting and recreation facilities everywhere, because, I don't like it. Therefore, I feel as though my view should inflict on what other people can or cannot do.

    Report this comment

    Matt Daniel

    Friday, December 13, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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