Karting track is halted on grid

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 August 2001 | UPDATED: 15:16 03 March 2010

A NEW venture to turn farmland into a rally race–kart track has been turned down for a second time.

By Jessica Nicholls

A NEW venture to turn farmland into a rally race–kart track has been turned down for a second time.

Plans to set up a dirt track for four to six machines on land at Beacon Hill Farm, Martlesham were once again thrown out by Suffolk Coastal Council.

Farmers Louise and Philip Abbott were behind the application and had resubmitted it after questioning some of the reasons used for not accepting the proposal last time.

The track was targeted for land in between the A12 and the railway line that is considered as a Special Landscape Area.

Despite comments that this particular land is actually cut off from the SLA, the south area development committee decided that the scheme would still be detrimental to the area.

Some councillors were concerned that using this land would set a precedent.

Councillor Mary Dixon said: "We could start something if we say that one SLA is different from another."

However, councillor Ron Else was fully supportive of the scheme and accused Suffolk Coastal of being 'precious'.

He said: "This area has already been ruined by the A12 going through it.

"Any noise from the track would be drowned out by the traffic on the A12 and there is also the railway on the other side.

"I think we are being a little precious – it is a piece of land that has been cut off between the A12 and the railway line and has no great value."

After the meeting he said: "I feel that we have to help the farmers who are trying to diversify.

"The main problem in quiet locations is the noise and as it is sitting alongside the A12 the noise from this would not be noticeable."

Although some residents neighbouring the site had also objected to the track because of the noise element, Mrs Abbott had tried to allay the fears.

Last week she told the Evening Star: "This is just something that would be fun.

"There would be no floodlighting or tannoy systems.

"My children have had a kart down there for the past nine years and no-one has ever complained – we just wanted it to be done officially."

Although Little Bealings and Great Bealings parish councils also opposed the plan, Martlesham parish council added its support as long as the noise level was contained, there was no lighting and the karting did not go on late into the evening.

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