The proposal to expand Lydden Hill racing circuit has been approved by Dover District Council.
Some 100 members of the public were at the DDC planning meeting last night (Thursday, January 30) to hear councillors back proposals to pull down the circuit’s two-storey administration building and replace it with a two- to three-floor pavilion including office space, external viewing areas, function areas and six garages. Permission for a new access road from Geddinge Lane and extra land for parking was also sought.
In addition, the applicant wanted permission to carry on motor-racing events 52 days a year as well as use the site for bicycle training and racing and advanced driver tuition. Further, there are plans for corporate events and motorsport experience days.
DDC planning officers had recommended approval of the scheme, but the local authority says the permission includes some 30 conditions, several relating to more stringent noise monitoring. Forty-nine ‘silent days’ including 10 weekends, when no motor vehicles can be used at the circuit, form part of those conditions.
Noise management will be reviewed every six months for the first two years and annually after that.
Councillor Michael Holloway moved for the application to be approved. “There had been racing at Lydden Hill at least since 1947,” he said. “This will provide significant employment benefits.”
Roger Walkden, seconding the motion, added: “Lydden Hill circuit was established before people in the surrounding villages moved there. This scheme would bring significant advantage to the district.”
Peter Walker was another councillor supporting the plans: “Dover needs to be revitalised. Jobs are needed and more leisure facilities are needed. Tourism now plays a big part in our future.”
Dover CPRE had objected to the scheme when it was first mooted in 2015 and maintained its opposition to what was being promoted.
Derek Wanstall, chairman, had said: “The circuit’s proposed expansion can only bring more noise and traffic problems to the nearby village of Wootton, plus the site is within an AONB. Residents’ tranquillity and quality of life can only deteriorate if the expansion is approved.”
Councillor Peter Jull supported objectors, saying: “This has affected people in Denton and Wootton with noise, litter, fumes and traffic.”
It was reported at the meeting that there were 1,224 letters in favour of the application and 98 opposing it.
Wednesday, January 31, 2020