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MOTOCROSS CLUB GO TO THE PLANNING INSPECTORATE TO FIGHT COUNCIL’S DECISION

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A local motocross club is fighting an enforcement notice which has stopped its activities, claiming “it is not an eyesore or a scar on the landscape”.

In an appeal to the government’s Planning Inspectorate, the boss of MotoxIOW, Ben Collins, is trying to get a decision by the Isle of Wight Council’s planning department overturned as he argues planning conditions have not been breached.

Last year, a stop notice and an enforcement notice were served on the club and the land it uses off the Military Road, as part of Marsh Green Farm in Brighstone, by the council — telling the club to remove anything relating to its activities.

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Mr Collins, however, argues there has been no material change of use to the land nor any development which required planning permission. He believes the notices have been wrongly served and is requesting a full explanation.

In the appellant statement, Mr Collins said the local planning authority believed the jumps, tracks and bunds were permanent features, therefore, the use of the land had changed.

The primary use of the site is agricultural, with temporary use of the land rented by MotoxIOW for 28 days a year to manage the riding of motorbikes on the site.

Since January 2020, the land has only been used twice by MotoxIOW and Mr Collins argues the mounds do not prevent the land being used for agricultural purposes, as alleged, but they are happy to and intend to, remove the mounds on the corners.

In the statement, he said:

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“To describe the impact of riding motorbikes around a field on the sparsely populated Military Road twice a month as ‘significant’ is sheer exaggeration.

“The use is not for racing, timed events or practising for these, it is purely used as a safe regulated site for local residents and visitors to ride motocross bikes for pleasure.

“There is clear, overwhelming support for the club from all ages and backgrounds. The overarching opinion is that the council are allowing significant developments to proceed … yet are blocking other activities.”

Mr Collins said the national motocross body had ‘never experienced this level of obstruction’ from a local council.

Another issue the club has been facing is noise complaints — with the council saying they were minded to give a statutory notice if no mitigating actions were taken.

No abatement notice has been issued and while the council say it undertook detailed sound measurements in statements to the media, Mr Collins says the claims are untrue and the environmental health officer confirmed no measurements took place on the day they inspected the track and the proceedings.

In a letter to Mr Collins, the officer said he could hear the activity from nearby properties on Hoxall Lane and Brighstone Road, which he described at the time as ‘interfering with the comfort and enjoyment’ of another’s home.

The officer also noted, however, a number of actions had been proposed by the club to reduce noise levels, such as dampening the course and splitting up groups.

Mr Collins argues nearby residents in Mottistone are not significantly impacted by the use of the land for motocross and found in noise readings taken near a cottage, the sounds from the motocross track registered at around 40 decibels lower than a standard lawnmower.

The appeal, which has been started, will be determined by the Planning Inspectorate.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Old school.
Old school.
1 month ago

Typical council, obstructive behaviour towards ordinary folk doing no harm.
Yet if you wanted to put a development there, no doubt they would bend over backwards, for the right financial consideration of course.

All-knowing
All-knowing
Reply to  Old school.
1 month ago

People, just ensure instead of ‘moaning’ YOU get to vote next time. And let’s get rid of these self serving, greedy parasites.

Whilst the ‘next’ lot may be bad, they could never be worse.

They have ruined this Island, forced huge cut backs, and we have a worse service, they have given the go ahead to destroy acres of ancient meadowland , woodland, and hedgerows and all the wildlife it supports, for their own greed, NOT for Islanders, but for more money in their coffers.

Yet STILL charge us huge amounts more on our c tax, despite closing schools, limiting dustbin collections, forcing more parking charges, cutting back services.

NOTE they all have large salary increases and pensions, and will live nowhere near the destruction they create for others.

They need to go, but won’t unless we ALL ‘bother’ to vote next time.

Not on my manor
Not on my manor
1 month ago

I dare say the track backing onto Bob Seely’s property may have been why the council snapped into action. Those moaning beige Brighstone type’s probably thought they were instrumental in bringing a close to proceedings, but it’s more likely the old boy network operating silently in the background did the deed.

Loopy Lil
Loopy Lil
1 month ago

Brighstone….says it all really

Bbq Bob
Bbq Bob
1 month ago

The council just knocking this on the head after two events is a joke, without trying to help solve the issues. The island needs things like this!

Fiss plaps.
Fiss plaps.
1 month ago

Council obviously knarked because they were not offered the usual brown envelope they expect in exchange for their support .

EnduroFan
EnduroFan
1 month ago

If the track needs planning permission, the organiser should apply for it – not build it, hope to get away with it and then moan about the consequences when it’s stopped. That’s a risk you take with not talking to planning before doing something like this in an AONB.
If the track doesn’t need planning permission then the enforcement action will be overturned by the planning inspectorate – in which case, the organiser deserves an apology and good luck to the club with their track. Some engagement with local residents might sort the other aspects.

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