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Residents condemn motocross proposals

HUNDREDS of worried residents packed a public meeting to slam plans for a scrambling track in the countryside.

HUNDREDS of worried residents packed a public meeting to slam plans for a scrambling track in the countryside.

About 400 people attended the meeting at Lord Wandsworth College, Long Sutton, on Thursday night, and around 35 attacked the plans by Hart Council leader Robert Benford to build a motocross circuit on his farm near RAF Odiham.

“The meeting went extremely well,” said the chairman, Long Sutton parish councillor John Hill. “As well as the noise and environmental aspects, people brought up some interesting points.

“One person asked about the additional policing the events would require and the effect this would have on their rates. Others warned that the heavy goods lorries trying to get to the site could go through North Warnborough Street, which is already a disaster area.

“Of all the people that spoke, only three were for it and they came from outside the area.”

Odiham, Greywell, Long Sutton and Well, South Warnborough and Upton Grey parish councils have already unanimously opposed the moto park plan.

They say the development is totally out of place and would reduce the field to an ugly wasteland — contrary to Hart’s Local Plan, which seeks to preserve rural areas.

Parish councillors say the proposal will generate high levels of noise and are also worried that fuel and oil from the motorcycles will flow into the River Whitewater and downstream to the Sites of Special Scientific Interest at Greywell Fen and Greywell Moor.

They also point out that the site and surrounding fields are home to protected birds such as grey partridges and barn owls. Badgers, another protected species, have a sett within 150 metres of the site.

Village leaders are extremely concerned that traffic going to the proposed park would have to turn off the dangerous B3349, the scene of a number of death crashes and other serious accidents, into the narrow Ford Lane.

Cllr Benford said the crisis in the farming industry led him to look at other ways of making money at his 400-acre farm.

“We can provide a first class facility in an appropriate location — something of which the community can be proud and which exists in harmony with its neighbours,” he said.

Cllr Benford said noise levels would be monitored by Hart Council, which has the power to stop events if guidelines are not met.


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
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Farnborough Reporter
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