Mildenhall: Owners of Mildenhall Stadium must pay at least £238,000 of their opponents’ legal bills

 Mildenhall Stadium Mildenhall Stadium

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
6:19 PM

The future of Mildenhall Stadium hangs in the balance after its owners were told to pay at least £250,000 of their opponents’ costs in a long-running legal battle.

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The Supreme Court today handed down its judgement over costs in the case between the stadium and residents Katherine Lawrence and Raymond Shields, who won the case over noise nuisance earlier this year.

As well as their own legal costs, the stadium’s owners – RDC Promotions and Moto-Land UK Ltd – have to pay 60% of the couple’s base costs of £398,000.

They may also have to pay 60% of a further £669,000 owed to the couple’s law firm, Richard Buxton, although the Supreme Court in its judgement said this could change following Government representation.

However, the minimum £238,000 bill still leaves the future of both companies in doubt.

Dave Coventry, of RDC Promotions, said Moto-Land UK was likely to go in voluntary liquidation given it is a limited company, meaning the entire debt will transfer to RDC Promotions, which has unlimited liability.

Mr Coventry runs the company with his brother Ron, with the pair now facing the prospect of the legal costs becoming a personal debt.

“I try not to dwell too much on the issue, because it is soul destroying to lose everything from the time I left school,” Mr Coventry said.

“This is something that our type of business can’t sustain. We’re in a business that just about keeps its head above water.”

Mr Coventry said the two legal teams would now thrash out the terms of any payment, although the Supreme Court is due to break for two months at the end of July.

The Government recently changed the rules surrounding the recovery of costs in “no win no fee” cases.

These new rules could be applied in this case, which predates the legislation given the first hearing at the High Court was in 2009.

Lord Neuberger, the president of the Supreme Court, called the costs associated with the case “very disturbing”.

He added: “The fact that it can cost two citizens £400,000 in legal fees and disbursements to establish and enforce their right to live in peace in their home is on any view highly regrettable.”

The couple were initially only awarded £20,000 in compensation by the High Court, while Ms Lawrence and Mr Shields’ property was worth less than £300,000.

The couple moved to a property 850 yards away from the stadium in West Row in 2006, and began legal action two years later over the noise.

Ms Lawrence and Mr Shields won at the High Court in 2011, but then the Court of Appeal overturned this decision. However, the Supreme Court – the highest court in the land – ruled in favour of the couple.

The ruling also applied an injunction on activities at the stadium should Ms Lawrence and Mr Shields’ bungalow ever be rebuilt, given it was destroyed by fire in 2010.

27 comments

  • As for the person from Kesgrave complaining about Foxhall Stadium, why buy a house in Kesgrave if you object to weekly speedway meetings nearby?

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    RobbieS

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

  • The speedway stadium was there long before the couple moved into the house. The couple should be responsible for the decision THEY made to purchase the house. They have a wrecked a long-standing business enjoyed by thousands. People should be responsible for the decisions they make. The law in this case is ridiculous and so is the behaviour of the couple who could have simply moved away.

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    RobbieS

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

  • The world has gone mad . This complaint should have been laughed out of court . How can anyone move so close to a stadium and then complain about the stadium going about it's business . If this ruling stands , what about people near Foxhall Stadium , or Portman Road .The whole thing is ridiculous and the law should reflect common sense

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    hadleighblue

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • selfish.? thousands of people enjoy the stadium and 2 people dont who bought a house next door! move house if it annoys you that much plenty of people move because they dont like there neighbours not sue them and act like spoilt children. the issue is 2 people against thousands personally when i buy a house i see what it is like evenings, daytime, and weekends before i decide to buy.i would not move next to a indian restaurant and then complain it stinks and spoils my enjoyment of my home.!

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    rumbler

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • Clearly most of the people here don't actually care for anyone else and think that as long as they don't suffer anything goes. F1 hasn't become quieter because of the new technology but because one of the changes they decided to make was to reduce the noise because it had become unacceptable. I doubt there will be any future changes to create more noise as that would be unacceptable to right minded people. I like F1 and don't mind people who like other motor sports but in all things in this life there is a need for reasonableness all round and I don't understand the sentiment of many of the people posting here who think it is OK to make as much noise as possible because they have been allowed to do it for a long time and don't care who it upsets.

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    amsterdam81

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • if the people only moved in less than 10 years ago there is no case for them. racing has been there much longer end of ! you cant miss the stadium and signs surely and for a few hours 20 or 30 times a year what the big deal ?

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    rumbler

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • @amsterdam81 . good neighbours don't sue the people who were there many years before them because they were plain ignorant and say they didn't know the stadium was there when they had to drive past it to get to their house ?

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    hammy

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • So if this "sport" didn't create any noise then it would no longer be entertaining? Sounds like the supporters are those who modify the silencers on their road cars and bikes because they want people to notice how much noise they can make. Shouldn't we all try to go through life being good neighbours?

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    amsterdam81

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Just a bit of, I hope, useful information. I read a review of the judgement by a lawyer on another site; there is no such excuse as 'moving to the noise' for the stadium because the house was a house before the Stadium was built. Had it not been built and used as a home until afterwards, the case would have gone the other way. Still seem unjust, as many others in this thread have expressed quite will.

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    AH

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Amsterdam81 - in my view this case is actually all about developers getting prime land, not noise nuisance, even if this is not specifically the case at Mildenhall. This decision thus sets a nasty precedent which you seem to be agreeing with, any business that makes a noise needs to be closedmovedsued. So what next? Portman Road? The Regent? Chantry Park music festival? Airports? Rail Stations? Schools even? The list is endless. Looked at through your eyes, all of these appear fair game and the rest of us would have nothing to do and nowhere to go but to sit in our peaceful houses with no noisy entertainment to go to and no noisy jobs either. And F1 cut the noise due to technological changes, they have had many complaints that they now do not make enough noise!

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    paul e.

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Paul e, if you run a noisy business that might be affected by subsequent planning decisions then like anyone else you can object to each application. Like F1 you can also change the way you operate to reduce the noise. If challenged you should not be so stupid to think you will win but seek to work with those affected to compromise. I don't know much about the Mildenhall situation but it seems the stadium assumed they would win and didn't do anything to mitigate the problem.

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    amsterdam81

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Paul e, if you run a noisy business that might be affected by subsequent planning decisions then like anyone else you can object to each application. Like F1 you can also change the way you operate to reduce the noise. If challenged you should not be so stupid to think you will win but seek to work with those affected to compromise. I don't know much about the Mildenhall situation but it seems the stadium assumed they would win and didn't do anything to mitigate the problem.

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    amsterdam81

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • so close heathrow airport and every other noisy place i dont think so. amsterdam81 your talking out of your rear. long live rdc and mildenhall raceway.for foxhall staduim its not looking good.

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    rumbler

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • so does this mean that they will now sue the us government for flying from mildenhall base now? The flight path is right overhead? thanks to the couple that couple we should all worry about what noise we make.

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    Pete Burgess

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Amsterdam 81 cannot be serious, surely. Paul e, I agree with everything you said. It's madness that this even got to court. If I recall from a previous news article on this story, the couple who brought the lawsuit no longer live in the property. Why did they continue with pursuing this?

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    L S

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Amsterdam81 - if I, as a businessman, have a noisy business and I decide to put it away from housing developments, because it's noisy, and then, some considerable time later, developers put houses nearby where the noise disturbs the householders, are you seriously suggesting that business should be closed? Tough on any idiot who buys a house there! Next you'll be wanting to move the sea! I suspect this judgement will set a nasty precedent. You could basically apply it to anything you didn't like that was near you.

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    paul e.

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Since the council changed the road layout where we live the noise from speeding vehicles has become more than my partner can take. I am thinking of using this judgement to get the road closed. That should wreck the town but who cares. I have a right to peace and quiet.

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    Barnacle

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • This should be a wakeup call to all businesses who cause a nuisance for local residents, however long they have been there. Things change and what once may have been acceptable can't just carry doing things as before. At Foxhall there must be at least twice as many houses affected by excessive noise from the local stadium due to planning decisions taken over many years. This judgement brings hope for all.

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    amsterdam81

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • total maddness i would be sending round the boys if i was ron ! change there minds ! dont move next to a racetrack if you dont like noise once a week !

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    rumbler

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • if i was RDC i would sue the company who done the searches when the couple brought the house . how could they not know the stadium was there when its 850 yards away from the house .

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    hammy

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • This is a crazy decision. How can anyone move near to a racetrack or other noise creating place which has been there for years, and then take out a court case against the owners? Surely this should have been laughed out if court the moment they suggested it! If you don't like noise, don't move next to a racetrack or airfield etc. I seem to remember this happened at Castle Combe as well. It's about time common sense prevailed in these cases.

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    James Storey

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Such injustice! Is 239 in a Mustang?

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    David White

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Totally agree with Dwk. the worlds gone mad. this ruling is ridiculous. Mildenhall was there way before they moved there. Did they not research the area before moving? Simple homework. Does that mean if i was to move within 850 yards of Portman Rd, White Hart Lane, Old Trafford, The Emirates, Wembley etc i could get these places shut down due to noise?

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    Chubby26

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Given this ruling, which I find frankly perverse, it'll surely be goodbye Foxhall and hello to massive law suits, huge legal fees and a monstrous housing development with trebles all round over at Melton Hill?

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    paul e.

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • I agree with Dwk this ruling in mad you know when you move near to a business that makes noise it could upset you so you do not do it , what next someone living near a football ground , a motor way, even a fire station ,will have the right to compensation. rubbish ruling .

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    pandy

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • This is all a non starter, how can a couple move in To a Area and be 850 yds away from the motor sport stadium which has been there long before They purchased the property, now have the rite To complain about the noise knowing full well the Stadium was all ready there in the first place, It's not rocket science and surely the judge should of said Just that Full stop,

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    Dwk

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Well done you have ended Mildenhall! I should shake your hand but I'm worried I will get a law suit

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    rescue125

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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