Government responds to noise complaint petition

Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 23 Jan 2015

Noisy racing folk are upsetting the locals

The Government has responded to a petition looking to prevent those who move near motorsport venues from complaining about the noise. 

The petition, created by Lancashire-based motorcyclist Darren Coster, gathered huge momentum as it went viral in December last year and has since seen almost 40,000 signatures calling for action. 

The petition needs 100,000 signatories to be discussed by Parliament but as it has passed the first threshold of 10,000, the relevant Government department has provided an initial response. However, it’s not good news for those in favour of the cause.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said that the Government has no plans to change the law in respect to the matter raised as “removing the rights of incomers to protect themselves against nuisances would discriminate against them”.

According to the petition, there are “innumerate cases of people knowingly moving within close proximity of motorsport venues, only to try and have their planning permission revoked or have them closely completely when they take exception to the noise”.

However, the Government states “the fact that the defendant may have been using the land in that way before the claimant came to the vicinity is also not a defence, although the extent to which the claimant was aware of the activity when acquiring their interest in the land may be a factor that the court will consider as part of the overall picture”.

A statement from the department reads: “The Government fully recognises the huge popularity of motor sport in this country both on 2 and 4 wheels. Motor sport is important in terms sporting participation, volunteering, engineering, advancements in technology, job creation and wider economic benefits.”

“Our policies and legislation, along with existing planning guidance, allow people to enjoy motor sport while managing the noise environment and without placing an unnecessary burden on businesses that operate as motor sport venues. The Government considers that it is striking the right balance between those who welcome motor sport and those who have concerns about it.”

The full statement refers in detail to existing planning and nuisance laws, stating that there are systems in place to safeguard motorsport venues from unfair complaints but such venues need to ensure they are operating within the terms agreed when planning permission was granted. View the full response here.