Waverley planners defer a decision to allow successful motoring event days to continue at Dunsfold Park – the former WW2 airfield – for another three years.
Neighbours have complained about the noise, including an objection from a new business wedding venue operating from a nearby farm. The two local ward members wanted the application thrown out – claiming the noise and nuisance had gone on long enough. It was also affecting another local business.
The noise from the motoring events, which take place 30 times a year, was described as “absolutely obnoxious” by Cllr John Gray. Speaking at the eastern planning committee meeting last night, he claimed the screeching of tyres and engine noise could be heard by villagers as far away as Dunsfold Church.
He said that the perimeter runway’s temporary use had been going on since 2015 and had gone on long enough.
“It should have ended before the council gave the previous temporary planning permission.”
Even though the popular motoring experience days have occurred on the site for many years, there have been very few complaints. A total of 12 between 2015/2018, said Cllr Liz Townsend.
According to a spokesperson for Dunsfold Aerodrome Limited, sometimes there were no complaints, and the council’s environmental health officers had no objection to the use continuing. There were measures in place to improve monitoring, and a new Noise Management Plan was being prepared.
Councillors heard that Alfold ~Parish Council wanted residents given advance notice of events. It requested the present 14 days be increased to 45 days.
Alfold Cllr Kevin Deanus claimed that allowing 3-year extensions of temporary permission one after another was “unheard of.” He called for a deferment of the application and a Noise Management Plan (NMP) together with a Communications Strategy to be provided, so residents would know when events would occur.
The officers, who recommended approval, could not see why the temporary consent shouldn’t continue as a new NMP and Communications Strategy was already being prepared. But the committee voted by majority vote to defer the application until this was available.
Officers explained that the proposed use may not continue for three years as the development of the new garden village community could come forward. However, she explained that phases one and two of the development would be on the eastern side of the site – well away from the motoring circuit.
She also explained that Government planning rules allowed for 56 events to take place under permitted development planning rules.