Have your say on plans to expand Lydden Hill racing circuit

The Lydden Hill circuit lies in the Kent Downs AONB

Long-running plans to expand Lydden Hill racing circuit in the Kent Downs AONB are likely to be decided upon in the spring… and you are urged to have your say on the proposals.
The owner of the site, close to the A2 north-west of Dover, wants to build two hospitality buildings, two grandstands, driving schools, a restaurant, offices, an industrial estate and an extended car park in a development it says would cost £6 million, while a new road would improve access between the A2 and the circuit.
It is also intended to triple the amount of days it is used, from 52 per year to 157. In addition to more race days, such intensification would entail such activities as driver tuition and testing, craft fairs and car shows.
Such an extensive development, together with the planned increase in days of operation, would have an undeniable impact on the surrounding area and those who live there.
Derek Wanstall, chairman of Dover CPRE, 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.”
The proposals first materialised in 2015 and Dover District Council asked for further details, primarily in relation to noise management, before determining the application.
Now it must consider an amended planning application – and if you would like to comment on it you must do so by Friday, March 9.
CPRE Dover objected to the plan when it first appeared and maintains its opposition to what is being promoted at the circuit; accordingly, it will be commenting on the amended application.
Unsurprisingly, local people are deeply concerned by the plans, most notably:

  • The proposed increased activity – up to 157 days, including three-day weekends over three Bank Holiday weekends.
  • Noise levels and the continuing lack of a coherent noise management plan.
  • Impact on the environment, especially given that the circuit is in an AONB.
  • Race-day traffic management on the A2 and through neighbouring villages, and also during the period of development, planned for this spring, which it is feared would result in large trucks and vans driving through country lanes.

A spokesman for Wootton Environment Protection Group said: “Residents of Wootton and Shepherdswell have been complaining about the increased noise and disruption caused by the circuit over the past 10 years or so, yet Dover District Council does little about it.
“Despite two and a half years since the original application, the latest documents provided by Lydden Hill race circuit are confusing, inaccurate and incomplete.
“For example, there are still no coherent noise management or traffic management plans and, frankly, the new documents have done nothing to address local residents’ concerns on a wide range of issues.”
Well, hopefully you can do something by making your views known. Write to the case officer at Dover District Council outlining your objections in full; the reference is Planning Application 15/00827

Your letters should be addressed to:

Luke Blaskett
Planning Officer
Dover District Council
White Cliffs Business Park
CT16 3PJ

You can post directly to the case officer or upload online on the Dover District Council website.
All letters must be the group by Thursday, March 8.

Monday, February 26, 2018

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