No action from government on petition to stop noise complaints

The British government says it does not plan to act on a petition that aims to stop noise complaints from residents local to UK race circuits

No action from government on petition to stop noise complaints

Launched late last year, the petition requests that the government introduces a mandatory waiver blocking "anyone who wishes to buy or rent a property" near to an existing circuit from complaining about the noise.

It has amassed more than 38,000 signatories since then, prompting a response from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which said existing planning guidance and safeguards specific to motorsport venues meant formal legislation was not required.

Circuit owners are responsible for arranging and adhering to an agreement with its local authority to ensure it operates as a "responsible user" of the land it is built on.

Motorsport venues "have a defence of best practicable means if they can demonstrate that they have done all they reasonably and practicably can to minimise the noise impact", according to the response.

Combatting the petition's request that "if they [new residents] do not wish to be bothered by something that was a fixture of the community long before they arrived, they should not move there in the first place", the government said such a move would impinge residential rights and worsen the relationship between circuits and the local community.

"Removing the rights of incomers to protect themselves against nuisances would discriminate against them and probably intensify the enquiries made by prospective residents, making transactions more complicated and expensive, as well as increasing the risk of post-transaction litigation about non-disclosure or limited disclosure," it said.

"The Government has no plans to change the law in this respect."

'STRIKING THE RIGHT BALANCE'

The response also stressed that proper planning was key to preventing noise nuisances in the first place, and that there are also rules in place to stop new developments influencing the venue's existence.

It says that existing businesses, in this case race circuits, "should not have unreasonable restrictions put on them because of changes in nearby land uses since they were established".

"The Government fully recognises the huge popularity of motorsport in this country both on two and four wheels," the response concludes.

"Motorsport is important in terms sporting participation, volunteering, engineering, advancements in technology, job creation and wider economic benefits.

"In summary, 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 motorsport and those who have concerns about it."

The petition remains online, and will be considered for backbench discussion if it reaches 100,000 signatures.

UK circuits Croft and Mallory Park have been involved in high-profile cases surrounding noise complaints in recent years, while the 24-hour race at Silverstone run by Britcar has been affected by the issue as well.

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