EDDC in out-of-court settlement with Mansell Raceway
‘We were stuck between a rock and a hard place’ says councillor.
EAST Devon District Council has reached an out-of-court settlement with the owners of Mansell Raceway’s karting circuit at Dunkeswell.
The settlement comes at the end of a long running noise abatement appeal case which started in 2008.
The council has only now reached a position where it is satisfied that settlement of the case is possible on terms that are, in its opinion, sufficient to stop the alleged noise nuisance.
“Therefore, we have entered into a legal agreement which restricts the current planning permissions in terms similar to those which we had tried to impose with the noise abatement notice,” said a council spokesman.
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“In broad terms, the noise abatement notice we served required that noisy kart activity be restricted to just nine Saturday practise days and nine Sunday race days each year and restricted the noise that was allowed to be produced at all other times.
“This notice was quashed after a hearing in Honiton Magistrates’ Court in November 2008. The agreement we have entered into now allows members of Dunkeswell Kart Racing Club to practise and test their race karts on two Saturdays per month and on nine Sundays as before, but with a guaranteed minimum of two quiet weekends during the first half of each month.”
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The spokesman added: “We believe that the agreement is in reality very close to the requirements they sought to impose with the now quashed noise abatement notice.”
Councillor Paul Diviani, chairman of EDDC’s Development Management Committee, said: “There is no ideal solution to a situation such as this, because the interests of the circuit and the residents are so far apart.
“To some extent, the council is between a rock and a hard place, because we want to help our residents but we have to act fairly towards the karting fraternity, who have been using this site for several decades.
“The raceway and the kart club have entered into contractually binding obligations as a result of signing a section 106 agreement which ensures the periods of respite so sought after by the local residents. The council has taken the measured decision that this arrangement would be better in the long term when balanced against the possible risk of a worse outcome had the matter been ruled upon by the court.”