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Scrambling for approval

A SENIOR councillor’s bid to build a motorcycle scrambling track at his farm is set to get a rocky ride.

A SENIOR councillor’s bid to build a motorcycle scrambling track at his farm is set to get a rocky ride.

Hart Council leader Robert Benford wants to build a ‘moto park’ on fields at his Down Farm home in Odiham.

But on Monday Odiham and South Warnborough parish councils both decided to strongly oppose the plan.

About 60 people turned up at the South Warnborough Parish Council meeting to attack the plan.

They said the scheme would result in noise in the open countryside affecting nearby residents and extra traffic along the narrow country lanes.

They also warned people going in and out of the proposed circuit would have to negotiate a dangerous junction.

One resident said Cllr Benford should not be putting forward a planning application while another said the leader should either withdraw it or resign as a district councillor.

Cllr Benford first outlined his plans at a public meeting in December.

He said the crises in the farming industry had led him to look at other ways of making money at his 400-acre farm.

“We believe that our location, expertise and resources provides a unique opportunity to create a national class facility for training, recreation and competition for moto cross riders,” said Cllr Benford.

“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.”

Cllr Benford said the field chosen for the race circuit was in a valley to minimise the visual and noise impact.

“Most of the time small numbers of riders will be practising, testing, riding for fun or taking part in corporate events,” he said.

“There are also possibilities for trials, quad bikes and BMX bikes to use the facility.”

Cllr Benford said noise levels would be subject to monitoring by the local authority, 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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