CPRE Kent opposes significant development at Lydden Race Circuit

CPRE Kent is opposed to the planned erection of a huge redevelopment of Lydden Race Circuit including two hospitality buildings, two grandstands, administration facilities, engineering units and access road.

The application (DOV/15/00827) represents a significant and harmful intensification of use at this site, will be detrimental to landscape of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and will impact the well-being of communities and the quiet enjoyment of the countryside.

Apex festival at Lydden Race Circuit, photo Beetle Challenge, flickr

Apex festival at Lydden Race Circuit, photo Beetle Challenge, flickr

Rather than being restricted to race days the proposal would mean intensified daily use of the site for activities including driver tuition and testing, race days, craft fairs and car shows. This will mean persistent disturbance to nearby residents and a loss of tranquillity in the AONB.

The proposals include an extended car park and, together with better facilities, this would mean more visitors and hence more vehicle movements on rural lanes, causing further erosion of tranquillity. The additional activity is likely to cause traffic congestion with increased local air pollution.

We have requested better visualisations of how the new buildings will affect views in the area. It fears that the buildings, which are on a significant scale, would have a harmful impact on this sensitive landscape.

The investment on the site would be substantial so we fear there will be pressure to increase income by operating a greater number of race days in the future as well as pressure for further intensification and lighting of the track at a future stage.

Jillian Barr, CPRE Kent Planner, said: “We do not believe there is justification for this major development in the AONB, which has the highest status of Government protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty. * It is not sustainable development because of its sensitive and isolated rural location and noise and traffic nuisance would be detrimental to the tranquillity of the countryside and amenities enjoyed by the local community.”

We have sent a letter of objection to Dover District Council as part of the consultation process and the council will make a decision in due course.

* Paragraph 115 of the National Planning Policy framework indicates that great weight should be given to preserving landscape and scenic beauty in AONBs. The Countryside and Rights of way Act 2000 requires decisions on development proposals to have regard to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of AONBs.

To read the full letter of objection click here.

October 13th 2015.


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