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March 11, 2014 - 27 motorists apprehended by Police outside Smeatharpe Airfield. D&C Police together[Untitled]with HM Revenue & Customs and the Department of Transport stopped vehicles passing Smeatharpe Airfield on Sunday morning, March 9 between 9.30am and 12.30. In that period, 27 vehicles were taken off the road: Three motorists were reported for “red diesel”. Eight motorists reported for construction and use offences relating to their vehicles. One motorist reported for no M.O.T. One driver was issued with a Penalty Notice for possession of cannabis. Fourteen motorists had “prohibited” notices issued on their vehicles due to mechanical faults. Now Sunday morning is normally a quiet time on the road past Smeatharpe Airfield, with the majority of traffic probably being worshipers at the nearby Newhouse Baptist Chapel. March 9 was however no normal Sunday morning as it was one of the 17 Sundays (18 if you include February 22) when the banger stadium was operating and banger drivers and fans would have been on their way to the banger races. Could it be that these offences were committed primarily by people frequenting the banger track? The picture published in the local press seems to indicate so. So be carefull walking through Smeatharpe when these vans with their beat up heaps on trailers behind pass you...They may not be road worthy.

February 26, 2014 - Banger stadium allowed additional day of practising.On February 22, 2014, Autospeed held a "Press and Track Day" at the bangers stadium where drivers were invited to "give new and refurbished bangers some track time". In support of this they had an ambulance parked on their site and noise typical of a race day was heard from the concrete oval.Incredibly MDDC Planning have decided that this will not count as one of Autospeed's 17 race days(They have previously published a full calendar of 17 race events, not including February 22).MDDC Planning Enforcement state"Mid Devon DC (the Local Planning Authority) were aware that this press & track day event ‘may’ take place. Legal submissions were submitted/considered and it was accepted by MDDC that the Press & Track Day was not to be counted as racing or practising, and that the day would ‘not’ count toward the permitted 17 days. As a result the track operators proceeded with the day.No breach has been identified, and as mentioned the day did not count towards the permitted number of days.These facts were not conveyed to local people as the date of the proposed event was not known to MDDC".

January 24, 2014 - Banger stadium full schedule of events for 2014 published. All the banger race dates for 2014 are now listed atWhat happens on Smeatharpe airfield todaytogether with dates, (so far as is known), for motor sports events that are scheduled for the main airfield.

December 22, 2013 - Public Meeting on Broadband, February 7, 2014. Seewww.upottery.comfor details of a public meeting in Upottery that will be chaired by Neil Parish MP, following information published by Connecting Devon & Somerset which indicates that Upottery parish and many other Blackdown Hills parishes will NOT get fast fibre broadband when £53M of public money invested in this so called rural broadband project has been spent in 2017. Sign theon-line petitionto get this put right.

September 27, 2013 - MDDC informed about littering in road outside banger stadium and scramble track. Following the recent banger and scramble events, the road from Riggles Cross to Bolham Water is littered with empty beer cans, plastic bags full of heaven knows what and other unmentionable detritous. The banger stadium have also piled buckets of rubbish up against their 8 foot high steel fence. This makes the B in AONB rather meaningless!
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September 18, 2013 - EDDC Planning have formally closed their Enforcement case against Kielly Bros for illegal use of Smeatharpe airfield (see EDDC Planning ). This is because Kielly have told EDDC that they have completely left the airfield. If you know different or see Kielly's stone operations on the airfield again please email ANNB at our.aonb@gmail.com
September 18, 2013 - Beware of illegal flyposting. In addition to the illegal flyposting of banger events on roads through Oct 12 posterSmeatharpe, the drift and drag outfit from Brighouse (Yorkshire) are now getting posters printed for their next event on October 12. The law on illegal flyposting is clear - anyone can remove them, but you must not keep them as they remain the property of the person doing the illegal flyposting. ANNB suggests they be returned to the banger site or airfield.
August 14, 2013 - Death threat in vicinity of airfield. On Saturday August 3rd, when the banger stadium held a car boot sale and Straightliners from Brighouse in Yorkshire were running drift and drag racing on the rest of the airfield, the police were involved in an arguement over money between two males on or near the airfield when one male is alleged to have made a death threat to the other. Neither male lives locally and unfortunately this is an example of the characters that these events attract into the AONB.
August 11, 2013 - Stadium set to exceed race day limit again. Yesterday, Saturday August 10, cars were again heard racing around the stadium on a day when no banger race event took place. Since the stadium planning approval allows them 17 race or practice days per year and they have already published a schedule of 17 race days, they will again this year exceed the planning restriction as they did last year. MDDC Planning Enforcement have been informed but as the stadium owners now hold a car boot sale (which does not have specific planning approval) each Saturday, it can be expected that they will continue to breach their restriction and local residents will loose the few quiet weekends in the summer. Please email our.aonb@gmail.com if you see or hear vehicles racing at the stadium on a day that is not advertised as a banger race event.
August 8, 2013 - Rural areas set to receive 50% less than urban areas in local government funding. Sign the Petition: The recent Local Latest News - A.N.N.B.Government Financial Settlement means rural areas will fall further behind urban areas is services such as social care, education, waste collection etc, or local councils will be forced to make big increases in your council tax because central government has decided to give 50% more support to urban areas than they do to rural areas. Sign the Rural Fair Share parliamentary petition which seeks to correct this discrimination. See Upottery website for more details and how to sign the petition. NB Signed copies of the petition have to be returned to the House of Commons no later that September 30, 2013.
July 24, 2013 - Kielly Bros claim they will leave the airfield soon. They also now operate from a site near Tiverton. EDDC say that Kielly Bros are expected to leave Smeatharpe airfield soon, despite having installed a caravan on the airfield in recent weeks. This follows a Planning Contravention Notice issued by EDDC in June. EDDC have also told Kielly that they must remove the caravan (believed to be used as accomodation for a night watchman) or apply for planning approval for it. It seems also that Kielly have found another location about 10 miles from Smeatharpe where they have also set up their operations on the A38, between Tiverton and Culmhead, at Maidendown Stage (EX16 7JX) on the site of a derelict garage and transport cafe. This site is in Mid Devon and whilst there is an approved MDDC planning appplication for offices to be built on the site, there does not appear to be any approval for Kielly's road mending and storage activities to take place their either.
June 7, 2013 - Banger stadium car boot sales are now being held on the banger stadium site every Saturday from 1pm during June, July and August. Purple 10 Ltd (the banger stadium owners) will be doing this under "permitted development rights" which gives every landowner the right to hold non motor sports events on their land for a maximum of 28 days per calendar year. See What happens on Smeatharpe airfield today for a full list of all known airfield events.
May 22, 2013 - Kiely Bros using Smeatharpe airfield to resurface roads in Somerset? Yesterday and today Kiely tipper trucks are travelling through Smeatharpe fully loaded heading totwards Taunton and then back to the airfield empty for more aggregate. This suggests that Kiely are using their unapproved and unlicenesed stone storage, grading and washing depot on Smeatharpe airfield to supply contracts they have with Somerset County Council, as well as Devon County Council. It is not possible to be 100% sure this is the case since it is possible that Kiely's trucks are re-entering Devon again at some point.
May 15, 2013 - Upottery Parish Council requests DCC & EDDC to take action to remove the unapproved and inlicensed development of road aggregate stockpiling, sorting and washing now taking place on Smeatharpe airfield. This was resolved at the Upottery Parish Council meeting May 13 and the Council is writing to DCC & EDDC with this request.
May 12, 2013 - Washing plant now being built: Two more low loaders full of equipment appeared on the airfield this morning bringing the Latest News - A.N.N.B.parts of a CDE aggregate washing plant which Keily Bros are now setting up on the runway, all without any form of planning or environmental approval. See the CDE site for details of the assembled equipment. The pile of waste aggregate by the airfield gate which is now growing rapidly and which it is believed Kiely are "giving" to local farmers, gives off a strong smell of bitumen when disturbed. The threat of all this to Gotleigh Moor SSSI does not sit well alongside the following quote from Keily Bros website: "Highway Engineers have to increasingly take into account environmental as well as economic factors". Operating unlicensed on a disused airfield without planning approval clearly demonstrates that Kiely put economics well ahead of environmental factors!
May 11, 2013 - Kiely prepare to wash used road sweepings: Today, two low loaders arrived Latest News - A.N.N.B.on the airfield carrying aggregate washing equipment, two JCB bucket lifts, a diesel generator and a large steel shipping container together with a tanker emblazened with the words "HYDRO BLASTER", presumably to provide a water supply, there being none on the runway. Despite telling an officer from the Environment Agency last Thursday that they would not be washing used aggregate on the airfield, they are clearly getting ready to do so.
May 9, 2013 - Gotleigh Moor SSSI in danger from Keily Bros waste: Whilst EDDC, DCC and the EGotleigh Moor Mapnvironment Agency continue to consider what action to take over Kiely Bros activities on the airfield, Kiely Bros continue to sieve sweepings taken off newly resurfaced roads across Devon and DCC have confirmed that Keily also plan to wash this recovered material on the airfield. Gotleigh Moor SSSI is now in danger of contamination with oil and tar if waste water from washing the stone sweepings enters the water table on the airfield. The runway drains have not been maintained since 1948, but only take surface water into the Bolham River anyway. The map shows the proximity of springs in Gotleigh Moor SSSI to where Kiely Bros are operating, the whole of the landscape to the north of the runway sloping down to the Bolham River which rises in Smeatharpe and flows along the boundary between the two SSSI's, Gotheigh and Southey Moors.
May 1, 2013 - Kiely aggregate sorting requires Environment Agency License: Following confirmation from DCC that Kiely Bros are handling sweepings from recently made up road surfaces at Smeatharpe airfield, the Environement Agency have decided that they do need a licenese from Sieving machinerythe Environment Agency in order to continue their activities on the airfield. This is because sweepings of this kind are considered to be a waste material which contains oil, tar and rubber. The Environment Agency will however not consider issueing a license unless DCC have already given planning permission for Kiely Bros to handle waste materials at the site, and no such planning permission has been applied for. It is therefore up to DCC to close down Kiely Bros operations until a waste handling license is applied for and if approved issued. Kiely Bros however are still continueing their activities on the airfield and DCC have confirmed that they plan to wash sweepings on the airfield as well. The drains from the airfield runways, which discharge into local streams in the AONB, running through Smeatharpe have not been maintained since 1948. It is possible that a significant environmental disaster is in the making here. The picture shows the huge sieving machines which have now been operating on the airfield for 6 months without any planning approval.
April 28, 2013 - Kiely aggregate sorting resumes: Following their purchase of a Barristers legal opinion, Kiely Bros resumed stone sieving on Smeatharpe airfield last Monday (April 22). They informed EDDC of this, basically challenging EDDC to take action if they disagree with the Barristers opinion. Kiely required EDDC to sign a non disclosure before they provided them with a copy of the 24 page Barristers opinion, which gags EDDC from telling anyone else what the basis of the Barristers opinion is. This does not mean that another Barrister may give a completely different opinion of the lelagiltty of Kiely Bros activities. Despite telling EDDC that they would only operate between 8am and 5pm weekdays, Kiely's sieving operations have been going on all day today (Sunday), starting at 7.30am thius morning. Anyone disturbed by noise from their operations should register a complaint with EDDC's Environmental Health Dept on 01395 516854.
Kiely Bros also seem to be repairing the drains along the side of the runway, which indicates they may be concerned about chemicals from the huge piles of roadmaking materials leaching into the adjoining farmland, which could result in the Environment Agency rather than EDDC shutting them down.
April 18, 2013 - Barristers legal opinion on aggregate storage: It appears that Kiely Bros are supplying EDDC with a Barristers opinion that they do have the right to continue storing and sorting aggregate on Smeatharpe airfield without needing planning permission. This will be based on Part 13 GPD planning rights which allow highway authorities to use land "adjacent" to the highway to repair "the" highway. It is not a right a contactor has unless DCC extend that right to include them. Kiely want to service road works all over Devon from the site - and that could go on for years. They are not contracted by DCC to improve the road adjacent to the airfield, so DCC will have to stretch the definition of "adjacent" to make Part 13 work - if they want to. Paul Diviani, DCC Councillor for the area has already made clear his opposition to what Kielly want to do on the airfield. EDDC, not DCC will have to decide on this legal opinion but if they disagree with Kiely and Kiely subsequently appeal against them and win, EDDC could be forced to pick up Kiely's legal costs. It is as yet far from clear what will happen.
March 26,Resized 2013 - EDDC stop materials sorting & storage on airfield: Following visits to the site by EDDC Planning Enforcement and DCC Planning, The two authorities have put a stop to all aggregate sorting work on Smeatharpe airfield by Kielly Bros and stopped more materials being brought there (EDDC Planning Enforcement No 13/F0095). This is not a formal enforcement order, but a request from DCC to Kielly Bros to stop using the site until the planning issue is resolved. They have also closed the entrance being used by tipper trucks to access the airfield. This is because a private contractor still has to have appropriate planning permissions in order to store and sort such large quantities of materials. The fact that Kielly Bros are doing it to meet a DCC contract does not give them any special rights. Kielly Bros are now believed to have engaged a planning consultant and barrister to get a change of use application through EDDC. Latest News - A.N.N.B.That application must allow local people to comment on it before it is considered. It has also emerged that Kielly Bros have been storing and sieving aggregate for road repairs at Culmhead airfield for the past 2 to 4 years, with planning approvals in place (It is an industrial location due to the Business Park), but now that planning approval has been given for the 5MW solar power station at Culmhead, the runways there are no longer available to them. It is clear from this that Kielly know exactly what the planning requirements are for what they are doing at Smeatharpe and trying to run their activities at Smeatharpe without making a proper plannning applicatiion is devious to say the least. Also, this is a permanent activity that Kielly use to service many of their roadworks sites across Devon and Somerset. EDDC should not be taken in by any suggestion from Kielly Bros that this is any kind of "temporary" activity.
March 17, 2013 - More information about material stockpiling: Devon and Somerset Highways departments have both denied all knowledge of road mending materials being stockpiled on Smeatharpe airfield. According to the DCC planning department, material taken off old road surfaces for future re-use is considered a waste material and the stockpiling of such material requires a license from the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency have told this website that no such license has been issued for Smeatharpe airfield, so they are treating it as "an incident" and will investigate what is going on there, as will DCC Planning. It has also been discovered that the six wheeled tipper trucks bringing the material to the airfield (7 days a week) are doing a round trip of 180 miles to get the material here, and that their route takes them past the Eagle Tavern and east on the A303. The material could be coming from as far away as Southampton or Portsmouth. More details will be posted on this page when known.
February 28, 2013 - Aggregate materials being stock piled on Smeatharpe Airfield. Around 10 truck loads of aggregate material are travelling through Smeatharpe each day at the moment to create huge piles of aggregate on the the main runway at Smeatharpe airfield where it seems to be being graded and stock piled. Earlier this week, one of these six wheeled HGV dumper trucks was involved in an accident with another vehicle in the village and when they pass each other in the village, pedestrians are forced off the road. DCC and SCC Highways departments have so far denied all knowledge of what is going on, but EDDC Planning Enforcement are aware of the activity and say that Kiely Bros from Birmingham are the Transport company bringing aggregates to the airfield for grading which will then be used on roads in Somerset. If you know more about what this operation is please send details toour.aonb@googlemail.com
January 12, 2013 - 7 days of airfield drift and rally days and 16 days of banger stadium race days now published. A list of all known dates for motor sports events on the airfield and banger stadium in 2013 is now available at What happens on Smeatharpe airfield today The maximum of 7 events have been set up by the airfield owners and the banger stadium have published 16 banger race days plus drifting during the modified mania day in July. This leaves the banger stadium one additional day they have yet to publish for 2013.
December 30, 2012 - Straightliners streetwars style drift and drag events set to expand. On their website "Dakota drift and drag" operated by Straightliners from Brighouse in Yorkshire have posted 4 dates for "run what you bring" drift and drag racing at Smeatharpe airfield - March 23, August 3 and October 12 and November 16 (See 2013 calendar ), but they have now added two more dates, August 11 and November 16, which are described as the Perranporth Car Show. Assumiing these extra dates are not at Smeatharpe, it is likely that they have negotiated to use Perranporth Airfield for these two extra dates and will be using the Dakota drift and drag name there as well. Looking at their Facebook page it seems that the November 16 date will be at Smeatharpe and not Perranporth.
November 15, 2012 - EDDC Shipping Container approval was flawed. The approval by EDDC to site a shipping container on Smeatharpe Airfield (see below) was flawed because EDDC's planning officer said in the report to the Planning Committee, that there were no relevant previous planning applications for the site. This was not true, since the EDDC website clearly lists the last one - an application in 1993 to hold car boot sales on the runways which was refused by EDDC "because it was contrary to the AONB designation for the area" (a designation that means the same today as it did in 1993) In response to a request for an explanation of the decision to allow a shipping container to sit on the runways for 3 years when the strategy objectives for the Blackdown Hills have if anything got more protective of the area, and not less, Ed Freeman, EDDC Director of Planning has stated "I fail to see how a decision from nearly 20 years ago for car boot sales was relevant in this case. It was for a very different form of development and was considered against a very different set of policies". If this is the calibre of the decisions being made to maintain the Blackdowns as an area of outstanding natural beauty, it doesn't say much for our future. The solar power station at Culmhead recently approved by TDBC is another example of how planners are failing in their duty of care for the Blackdowns. (The AONB Partnership objected to both of these applications)
November 13, 2012 - New Blackdown Hills Online website. The Blackdown Hills Parish Network, which was set up in 2011 by the BlackLatest News - A.N.N.B.down Hills AONB Partnership brings together the 38 Parish Councils in the Blackdown Hills to work on common issues, irrespective of which District Council or County Council area they are in.The Parish Network has now launched its own website to provide information for all who live, work and play in the Blackdown Hills AONB. Click the link: http://www.blackdownsonline.org.uk/ to see the new website.
November 12, 2012 - EDDC approve airfield shipping container. East Devon District Council have today approved the sitting of the steel shipping container with a chemical loo, on the airfield until 30 November 2015. (Application No 12/1930/Ful)
In their approval notice, EDDC say:
"The design and external appearance of the proposal does not harm the visual amenity of the site and surrounding area. The proposal does not harm the natural beauty of the landscape designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty."
EDDC's definitions of visual amenity and natural beauty are clearly very different from many people's and those of the AONB Partnership who also objected to the container being placed on the airfield along with many local residents.
Expect the drift and drag outfit from Yorkshire to put a similar application in soon - They are back on the airfield again this Saturday, Nov 17. (EDDC out of hours number for complaints is 01395 516854)

October 21, 2012 - Will more solar panels be coming to a field near you? Fresh from success in gaining planning permission from TDBC for the 5MW solar array at Culmhead, the directors of Blackdown Solar Power are already advertising for landowners to contact them if they have 50 or more acres of agricultural land available and are offering up to £1,250 per acre for 25 years in rent if they are able to get planning permission to put a Culmhead size solar panel array on the land. The MD of Blackdown Solar Power, Iain Beath, is advertising this offer to landowners in the name of a different company - Renewable Power Ltd. (See http://www.renewablepower.net/landowners/landowners.html ) Blackdown Solar Power stands to make profits of approx £25M from the Culmead power station, subsidised by domestic electricity customers, so it is not surprising they are eager to build more and many farmers will see this as a better business proposition than farming. (Deloitte and Touche consultants estimate average UK farm income per acre to be between £62 and £81 per acre per year, which makes "solar farming" a no-brainer!)
October 19, 2012 - Culmhead 5MW Solar Array Approved by Taunton Deane BC planning committee on October 17, despite objections from local residents and the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership. It seems that TDBC consider a 5MW powerstation covering 50 acres, in an AONB, subsidised by UK electricity bill payers is a suitable development in an area where "tranquility and freedom from man made intrusion" is supposed to be the overiding consideration. Beware of TDBC permitting further industrial development in the AONB!
October 12, 2012 - Taunton Deane Planning Officers recommend approval of Culmhead solar array and the final decision on this application will be made by the TDBC Planning Committee on October 17. This is a public meeting in the John Miekle Room at Deane House, Taunton begining at 5pm. Members of the public are allowed to speak at this meeting for a maximum of 3 minutes per person.
October 12, 2012 - Windturbine application withdrawn - The plannning application for a 50kW wind turbine at Highlands Farm, Hemyock (MDDC app'n No 12/00456/FULL) has been withdrawn by the applicant.
October 8, 2012 - Deadline for comments on airfield shipping container extended to October 17 - Because no site notice has been displayed, EDDC have extended the deadline for comments about the planning application to place a steel shipping container on the airfield as a storage/club house. Application Number 12/1930/FUL (see http://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk/online-applications/) The application shows that the model flying club currently use Smeatharpe Village Hall for meetings. Comments about this application must now be made to EDDC before October 17, and can be emailed to planning@eastdevon.gov.uk quoting application number 12/1930/FUL
October 6, 2012 - Streetwars style drift and drag day October 13 will be advertised on Heart Radio from Oct 8 to increase the number of attendees drifting and draging, and in the ad, they have renamed it "Smeathorpe" (Like Scunthorpe). The organisers, Straightliners, from Brighouse in Yorkshire will be allowing 4 cars to drift together at the same time, which will increase noise levels. They have also announced their "Smeathorpe" drift and drag days for 2013. They are March 23, August 3, October 12 and November 16 (All are Saturday's).
September 17, 2012 - Culmhead solar array plannning application resubmitted. The same company has now resubmitted the planning application withdrawn earlier this year under application No 10/12/0024 http://www1.tauntondeane.gov.uk/tdbcsites/plan/plappdets.asp
The first noticeable difference to the previous application is that the area of agricultural land to be covered is larger at 52.9 acres (the previous application covered 44.5 acres). Like the previous application, the site will be surrounded by a 2.03 metre fence topped with barbed wire and there will be 10 infrared surveilance cameras placed around the site which will be unmanned. There are 24 detailed documents submitted as the appplication and it is not yet clear what other differences there may be but it does appear that the fence and panels are closer to the Taunton-Churchinford Road than was the case for the previous application. Closing date for public consultation is October 8 and comments should be sent to Mr G Clifford at planning.admin@tauntondeane.gov.uk
September 14, 2012 - 4 cars at a time, will be drifting together on October 13 - Straightliners, the organisation from Brighouse, in Yorkshire, who are now running the streetwars style drift and drag days will apparently be running two drifting circuits when they next return to the airfield on October 13, and on one of these two circuits, they will be allowing 4 cars to drift together, at the same time "in order to keep queue times down". You can expect considerably more tyre squeel noise on Saturday October 13 as a result. EDDC's out of hours number for complaints is 01395 516854.
September 14, 2012 - Yet again Smeatharpe tops the list for speeding. As in 2011, D&C Police have in the early part of 2012, caught and prosecuted more people for speeding in the 30 mph speed limit in Smeatharpe than in any other 30 mph area of Honiton Rural:
Smeatharpe: 4 endorsable fixed penalties and 27 verbal warnings for excess speed.
Honiton Rd, Dunkeswell: 1 endorsable fixed penalties and 9 verbal warnings for excess speed.
Awliscombe: 0 endorsable fixed penalties and 7 verbal warnings for excess speed.
Data for the period between May and November 2011 is published below as the "latest news" item for November 16, 2011.
September 14, 2012 - Antisocial behaviour on or near airfield - The Devon & Cornwall police website shows that one case of antisocial behaviour was recorded on or near the airfield in June and another on or near the airfield in July. Although no dates are given for these crimes, it is reasonable to assume they were connected with one or more events on the airfield.
September 11, 2012 - Application for a shipping container to be placed permanently on runway. The Blackdown Model Aircraft group have applied to EDDC to place a metal shipping container on the main airfield runway as a storage/club house and containing a chemical toilet. Application Number 12/1930/FUL (see http://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk/online-applications/) The application shows that they currently use Smeatharpe Village Hall for meetings. Comments about this application must be made to EDDC before October 3, and can be emailed to planning@eastdevon.gov.uk quoting application number 12/1930/FUL

September 9, 2012 - Car Rally, Bournemouth Car Club. From 8.30am this Sunday morning, Bournemouth Car Club have been holding a rally on the old runways with very loud engine and exhaust noise. To complain about this event call EDDC out of hours number on 01395 516854 and ensure your call is registered as a complaint and not an enquiry. (enquiries are not logged)

September 1, 2012 - Banger stadium practice day. Between 10.30 am and Noon on this day, at least two banger cars were seen and heard practicing on the stadium's concrete oval. Since Purple 10 Ltd have already published a full race schedule of 17 events for 2012 (The maximum number of race or practice days allowed per calendar year, by MDDC's CLU), if MDDC agree that Sept 1st was used as a practice day then the last advertised race day of 2012 (October 21) would be in breach of the 17 day limit. MDDC's decision plus whatever enforcement action may be taken will be posted here when known.
August 3, 2012 - Streetwars is back on Smeatharpe airfield, August 4. This time operated by an outfit called Straightliners Events from Brighouse in West Yorkshire and sponsored by Engine Tuner, a car parts business from Plymouth. See http://dakotaraceway.co.uk/dragracing/ Saturdays August 4, October 13 and November 17 are other dates on which they plan to run drifting and drag racing which they intend to operate just as Lee Child's Streewars outfit used to. If you are disturbed by noise or nuisance from these events then you should complain to both East Devon District Council and Mid Devon District Council, because the airfield straddles both districts.
June 28, 2012 - Additional rock festival approved by TDBC. On June 18, Taunton Deane Borough Councils Licensing Sub Committeee approved the License application for the Strummer of Love Festival August 17 to 19 on the same site that will host the Budhafield festival in July. This was despite objections from Churchstanton, Pitminster and Otterford Parish Councils and many local residents.
June 26, 2012 - Culmhead Solar Array planning application withdrawn. On June 19, the application for the solar farm at Culmhead was withdrawn following objections by English Heritage and the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership. In his withdrawal email however, Iain Beath does say that he will submit a revised application "when and if we have been able to arrive at a solution with English Heritage"
June 7, 2012 - Culmhead Solar Array security cameras: The company making the planning application for the solar array at Culmhead Airfield have supplied TDBC with pictures of the security cameras installed at another location suggesting that the cameras at Culmhead (if the appliation is approved) will look the same. See Culmhead cameras
June 6, 2012 - Rock Festival hearing. Following the receipt of numerous objections to this additional rock festival being held on the Bhudafield site in August with 7,500 people in attendance, TDBC have organised a hearing before the Licensing Authority Sub Comittee on June 18 at 2pm at The Deane House, Belevedere Rd Taunton. It is likeley to be a heated debate.
May 20, 2012 - Major rock festival planned for Blackdowns. On the Blackdown Hills site that will already play host to the Bhuddafield Festival, July 11 - 15, another, bigger rock festival is being planned for August 17 to 19. It is called Strummer of Love and anticipates 7,500 visitors. Amazingly, it is being advertised and has been organised without any formal planning approval or licensing and is on land that straddles the three parishes of Otterford, Churchstanton and Pitminster. See what Otterford Parish Council said about the planned event in their parish when they found out about it: Otterford PC. You can let TDBC know your views on this proposed event by emailing John Rendell at Taunton Deane Borough Council.
April 21, 2012 - A planning application for a 5 Mega Watt solar array at Culmhead has been submitted to TDBC.
See TDBC Planning Application No 10/12/0009. The application is from Culmhead Renewable Energy operating under the name Blackdown Solar Power Ltd (which seems to have been set up specifically to make this application). Mr Beath is a Director of both companies and of a third company, called Culmhead Wind Power which has not yet undertaken any activities at Culmhead. The solar array will cover 44.5 acres and the application includes construction of a 2 metre (6 foot) high security fence surrounding the site with closed circuit TV cameras. Little detail of the fence and cameras are provided in the application (Stalag Trickey Warren?)
Please note that May 14 is the last day you will be able to make comment on this application.
March 12, 2012 - Streetwars cancelled for good!? On his Dakota Drift and Drag Facebook Page, Lee Childs has this evening announced "24 March Drag and Drift will no longer be running and I can confirm this is now cancelled. I will no longer run events at Smeatharpe Airfield" Whilst this is indeed good news it is likely that the airfield owners will still want to make a profit from renting out the concrete and find other motor sports promoters willing to rent the concrete for the limited number of events permitted by the Noise Abatement Order (Update: The Facebook page was taken down March 13)
March 1, 2012 - Heiner Roeger and Iain Beath are both Directors of Culmhead Renewable Energy Ltd (the company behind the 5MW solar array at Culmhead). They are also both Directors of Culmhead Windpower Ltd, a company set up to build a windfarm at Culmhead and a company called Blackdown Solar Power Ltd whose purpose is unknown. For a full list of Directorships held see Heiner Roeger and Iain Beath
February 27, 2012 - An 8 foot high wire fence with video cameras surrounding the site are a few of the additional details about the proposed 5MW solar array at Culmhead airfield that have emerged since the open day at Churchinford village hall. The fence and cameras will be necessary because the site will not be manned once operational. The fence will be within 200yds of the 8 houses at Trickey Warren Fam. It is believed the array will cost £6M and it has been suggested that the company behind the plan may propose a Section 106 agreement with the planners to fund local community projects as a way to offset the impact of the development. Details of similar solar arrays in other parts of the country are at Langage 5MW solar array, Plymouth and Leicestershire 30MW array
February 11, 2012 - 5 Megawatt solar power array proposed for Culmhead airfield. Two companies (Renewable Power Ltd of Wellington and Notus Energy of Potsdam, Germany) are proposing to build a 5MW solar panel array on land at Culmhead airfield. The solar panel array will cover an area of 18 Hectares (44.5 acres). A public consultation event on this proposal is planned to take place in Churchinford Village Hall on Friday February 17 between 2pm and 8pm. For more information see Renewable Power The Managing Director of Renewable Power Ltd is also a Director of Culmhead Wind Power Ltd, a company set up in 2008, presumably with the intention of building a commercial windfarm at Culmhead. It appears that as government subsidies (and fashion) for "green energy" have changed over the years, the people behind these companies now favour commercial solar power generation at Culmhead rather than commercial wind power generation. According to his profile on another company website, of which he is a Director (Brendon Energy), the Managing Director of Renewable Power Ltd is "currently Project Director for three windfarm sites at various stages in the planning process".

January 20, 2012 - Modified Mania, Sunday July 29. This event will again take place at the banger stadium but although it will include "drifting demonstrations" and "rally car rides", MDDC Planning do not consider this to be motorsports since these activities will not be competitive. This therefore becomes an 18th day of cars racing around the banger track making just as much noise as a race does but permitted in addition to the stadiums CLU planning restriction of 17 "motor sports" days. The organisers have also teamed up with Lee Childs streetwars organisation so that there will be drift and drag racing on the main airfield runways on Saturday July 28. Combined tickets are being sold with entrance to the two "motor sports" activities.
January 19, 2012 - A full schedule of 17 banger race days have been posted by Autospeed (Purple 10 Ltd). 17 events are the maximum number of "motor sports" days that can be held at Smeatharpe banger stadium as specified by the stadiums CLU. Dates and times for 2012 are listed at What happens on Smeatharpe aifield today
January 17, 2012 - Two windturbines at Culmhead approved by TDBC. The two windturbines on 18.3 M high masts with 24.8M high blade tips have been approved by Taunton Deane BC for the Culmhead Business Park. The application was approved by the Chair or Vice Chair of the Planning Committee under delegated powers based on an approval recomendation from the case officer. Full details of the approval are at Planning Approval
January 10, 2012 - Maximum of 7 motor sports events scheduled for main airfield. Lee Child has announced March 24, July 28 and Oct 13 as three drift and drag days on the main Smeatharpe runways. This brings to 7 (the maximum allowed by the Noise Abatement Order) the number of motor sports events scheduled for 2012 See What heppens on Smeatharpe airfield today A new activity that seems to be being planned along with drifting and drag racing is "tyre dragging" supposedly to "clean the track" - see You Tube
January 5, 2012 - Carpetbagger Rally Cancelled. Whilst a number of people have successfully had confirmation that this night rally will be moved away from their properties, one car club in Chelmsford is reporting that it has been cancelled "in spite of a full entry". The Motor Sports Association have also now confirmed that "the organisers have withdrawn their application and this event will not now be taking place.". The MSA do not however state if they took any action against the organisers (Road Rally Register) for their misleading leaflets.
December 24, 2011 - Final 2011 airfield rally on Wednesday December 28. South Hams Motor club have a "practice day" on the airfield from 09.00 - 15.30 See South Hams Motor This means that the maximum of 7 motor sports events (as defined by the noise abatement order) will have been held on Smeatharpe Airfield in 2011 Please note this day was previously scheduled as one of Lee Child's drift and drag days but after not beiing able to get enough participants he cancelled it on Dec23 (See driftworks ) In making refunds he offers places at a Drift & Drag day in March 2012 - date not yet known. A happy and peacefull Christmas to all from ANNB
December 20, 2011 - Carpetbagger leaflets are being posted through properties on the route. Leaflets ( see Carpetbagger Letter 2012 ) have started appearing at properties along the (secret) route of this night time road rally which will take place January 14&15, 2012. As was the case in 2010 and despite the Motors Sports Association telling ANNB that they would vet the words before it was distributed, it claims that the rally is authorised by the Dept of Transport and that Devon & Cornwall Police and Avon & Somerset Police will be patrolling the route. Both of these statements are untrue and the Motor Sports Association and the Police are now investigating. If you receive a leaflet you can request the rally be moved away from your property by emailing the MSA at David.Powell@msauk.org The rally involves up to 50 cars travelling a 70 mile route through the lanes of the Blackdown Hills between Midnight and 3am. One local resident has already asked the organisers to move the route of the rally away from the road outside his house and they have agreed. NB D&C police have confirmed that the rally does not use any off road parts of Smeatharpe airfield but "skirts Smeatharpe" on public roads.
December 8, 2011 - Windturbines on Culmhead Airfield. Taunton Deane Borough Council have received a planning application (No 10/11/0047Full) from one of the owners of Culmhead Airfield to erect two 18Kw wind turbines on 18.3M high masts at Culmhead Business Park. The top tip of the blades will be 24.8M above ground, twice the height of a mature tree and three times the height of the average two storey house (8.5M). Public comments on this application are invited up until December 26 by emailing planning.admin@tauntondeane.gov.uk quoting Ref No 10/11/0047. At present the application is cited for decision by the Planning Control Manager by January 17, 2012 under delegated powers (i.e. not to be decided by elected Councillors on the Planning Committee). The full application is on line at Taunton Deane Planning (Enter the planning reference number 10/11/0047). The plan for wind turbines on Smeatharpe airfield remains in abeyance, but turbines at Culmhead could set a precedence for any future wind turbine planning application at Smeatharpe.
November 22, 2011 - Carpetbagger Rally is on, confirms the Motor Sports Association for the night of Saturday January 14 and the early hours of Sunday January 15, 2012. Properties along the route can expect to hear noisy engines and exhausts during that night. The route of this 70 mile night rally through the narrow lanes of the Blackdown Hill is not published by the MSA or the organisers and if it passes your house you will likely get a leaflet through your door in December such as the one distributed in 2010. These leaflets often say that such rallies have Department of Transport and RAC approval. This is not true - the police and DoT are simply notified that the rally is taking place (they have not approved it) and the RAC simply set the rules by which the rally is marshaled. If you get one of these leaflets you have every right to have the rally re-routed away from your property. To do this, send an email, if and when you receive the leaflet, to David Powell, Competitions Authorisation Officer at the Motor Sports Association Email: David.Powell@msauk.org
November 16, 2011 - 77 drivers caught speeding in Smeatharpe. On the Devon & Cornwall police website, the Honiton Rural policing team have published results from speed traps set up in the area since May 2011 which demonstrate that Smeatharpe experiences far more speeding than the other two areas monitored - In Dunkeswell 40 drivers were caught and in Awliscombe 9 drivers were caught. The details are:
Awliscombe - 9 verbal warnings for excess speed and on 5 visits NO excess speed.
Dunkeswell – 4 endorsable fixed penalties issued for excess speed, 36 verbal warnings for excess speed and on 1 visit NO excess speed.
Smeatharpe – 21 endorsable fixed penalties issued for excess speed, 56 verbal warnings for excess speed and on 1 visit NO excess speed.
D&C police do not state how many times speed traps were set up or how long they operated for. All three locations have part time speed warning indicators but it is clear that the biggest problem with speeding in the Honiton Rural area is in Smeatharpe. The electronic speed warning sign alone is clearly not working and one wonders how many of the drivers caught by the police were travelling through the village to reach the banger stadium or airfield motor sports events. Readers concerned about the danger to pedestrians and others in the village may wish to take this issue up with local councillors or D&C Police.
November 14, 2011 - East Devon District Council did not object to the stadium waste application. Devon County Council have confirmed today that all consultees (Parish and District Councils & the AONB) objected to the stadium's waste dumping application - with one exception - East Devon District Council. EDDC has in the past made it clear to ANNB that the stadium (which is in MDDC) "has nothing to do with EDDC", but it is bizarre to find that EDDC did not object to this application when half of the trucks that would have brought 5,000 tonnes of waste to the site would have had to come up Wingate Hill (in EDDC) which has already been pinpointed by local residents as a major problem road with the number of commercial vehicles that travel along it. DCC also told ANNB that the reason the application was withdrawn was not the strength of local opposition to the plan but the fact that "the stadium has recently suffered a break-in and dealing with that prevents them going ahead with the waste application ". Beware the stadium can reapply within 12 months without paying another application fee. DCC have however told ANNB that they would notify objectors if the stadium do re-apply.
November 10, 2011 - Banger stadium waste dumping application withdrawn. According to the DCC planning website Purple 10 Ltd yesterday (Nov 9)withdrew their application to dump 5,000 tonnes of waste on the site. Whilst this is good news and one could surmise that they withdrew the application due to the strength of local opposition to it, it should be remembered that Purple 10 Ltd have a history of withdrawing previous planning applications made to MDDC and then resubmitting them with amended details. It will be important to keep watch for this application being resubmitted again to DCC.
November 5, 2011 - Carpetbagger Rally. Chelmsford Motor Club are advertising that this night time road rally through 70 miles of the lanes of the Blackdown Hills is on again for 2012 on the weekend of January 14 & 15. (It was cancelled in 2011). More details will be posted here when they are known. See http://chelmsfordmc.co.uk/event_type/21
October 21, 2011 - Banger stadium license to sell alcohol withdrawn. MDDC have withdrawn a previously approved TEN license for the stadium owners to sell alcohol at the last banger race event this year on Sunday October 23. This is because they have already exceeded the maximum 12 such licenses they can have in any one calendar year. Originally MDDC approved this additional license, since they were not counting the number of licenses approved, but revoked it after they realised their mistake. See https://licensing.middevon.gov.uk/protected/wca/publicRegisterLicActPremisesLevel1.jsp
September 20, 2011 - Banger stadium want to dump 5,000 tonnes of waste. DCC have received an application from the banger stadium owners and a waste management company to dump 5.000 tonnes of non toxic waste on the stadiums north bank. Whilst this is described in the application as a way of making the bank larger to provide emergency vehicle access, "secure the perimeter" and provide a platform a cherry picker to hold a TV camera that will video stream banger racing over the internet, it is in reality a money making exercise designed to net the developers approx £175,000 income. More details (and how to register an objection to this application) at Landfill at banger stadium
September 11, 2011 - Bangers get expensive. Because metal prices are rising, banger racers cannot pick up old cars, for next to nothing, to use for banger racing any more. This means they try to make them survive each race and at the end of each race meeting, they no longer enter them in the "demolition derby" that used to happen at every meeting. As a result there were fewer competitors and fewer spectators at the August bank holiday banger race day. Beware however, because falling gate receipts may mean that the banger stadium,owners may try to run more events like modified mania where cars are not destroyed, but noise is probably worse than a normal banger race day.

September 6, 2011 - Modified mania a Statutory Noise Nuisance. MDDC Environmental Health Dept have confirmed that they will work the dates of the next "drifting demonstrations" at next years event (July 28 & 29, 2012) in order to "demonstrate the likely re occurrence of a Statutory Noise Nuisance should one be witnessed at an event next year. This means not only that they consider this years event to constitute a Statutory Noise Nuisance, but should noise and complaint levels be similar to this year, it will enable MDDC to take enforcement action during next years event. A big thank you to all the 77 people who signed the online petition calling for this years event to be prohibited and those who responded to MDDC's email after the event asking for more information.
August 13, 2011 - Tyre screeches, engine revving and popping exhausts have been heard almost continuously from 9.30 am until 4pm caused by Streetwars a.k.a. Dakota drag'n drift on Smeatharpe airfield. Telephone numbers to complain about the noise are EDDC: 01395 516854 and MDDC: 01884 255255 for whom you need to press 3 for the emergency/out of hours service. Calls to MDDC will be redirected to Devon County Councils out of hours service who will tell you to call MDDC on Monday, but if you insist they will log your details and email MDDC for you. Remember to say "this is a formal complaint about noise and is in no way to be considered an enquiry".Councils can ignore noise complaints if they think you are "enquiring" about a noise.
August 13, 2011 - "The count down is on to some tyre smoking action" is the latest entry on the
Facebook page set up by Lee Child, the organiser of today's drifting and dragging day on Smeatharpe Airfield with the support of airfield landowners. Otherwise known as "Streetwars", many teenage drivers are expected to "do what they are not allowed to do on public roads" in their own cars which they drive to and from the airfield. Be prepared for another day of tyre screeches. It is appropriate to complain to both EDDC and MDDC if you are disturbed by this noise since the airfield sits across the district council boundary.
August 5, 2011 - Modified Mania. MDDC did organise for noise recordings to be taken during the drifting demonstrations at this event on July 24, - but the equipment did not work and no recordings were made. Because of this MDDC have appealed for anyone who was disturbed by the tyre squeal noise from the drifting demonstrations to contact them with information about how the noise disturbed their enjoyment of their own property or the local area. (See
MDDC request for more information) Please send details of how noise from this event disturbed you to Ian Winter at MDDC's Envoronmental Health Department at IWinter@middevon.gov.uk If enough people complain that noise from the event disturbed their enjoyment of the day on July 24, then MDDC will be able to take enforcement action in 2012 to restrict drifting activity. NB This year Modified Mania was a one day event - The organisers are already advertising that it will become a two day event in 2012.
July 24, 2011 - Modified Mania. Despite the organisers assuring MDDC & EDDC that drifting would only take place on July24 and "consist of two demonstrations of around 30 minutes only between 11am and 2pm", drifting was heard at the banger stadium on a number of occasions yesterday, Saturday July 23. On Sunday, July 24, from 9.30 to 11.40am, a D&C Police traffic car and 2 motor bike policemen were stationed at Smeatharpe village hall, monitoring traffic travelling to the event. The noise of skidding tyres was heard in the middle of Smeatharpe village almost continuously starting from 10.00am Sunday morning until lunchtime when there seemed to be a lull;starting up again around 13.30 and going on until 15.30. At various times convoys of cars with large noisy exhausts travelled through the village, and after 11.40am many travelled well in excess of the 30mph limit - one was estimated to be travelling in excess of 60mph..
July 4, 2011 - 65 Cars took part in the July 3rd Stages Rally Organised by Bournemouth Car Club on Sunday, this was the first of two such rallies allowed by the airfield Noise Abatement Order on a Sunday and it generated considerable noise on a sunny Sunday. The next and last Sunday rally this year will be on Sunday October 9. Note: The banger stadium will be operating on the evening of Tuesday July 5 - with alcohol on sale of course from 4pm to 10.30pm, approved by MDDC and D&C Police.
June 8, 2011 - MDDC decide that July 24 drifting demonstration will not infringe banger stadium CLU. As expected MDDC Planning Enforcement have decided after taking legal advice, that the additional 18th event at the banger stadium - the drifting demonstration on July 24, does not infringe the stadiums CLU allowing a maximum of 17 racing events. John Clarke, MDDC Planning Enforcement Officer states "It is this Local Planning Authorities (LPA) opinion that the proposed event at the above stadium on 24th July 2011 (Modified Mania) to include a demonstration of ‘drifting’ will ‘not’ count towards the permitted period of 17 days motor racing events permitted by way of the planning permission and certificate of lawful use. As a result the stadium can operate to the published timetable of 17 events without a breach of planning legislation taking place after the 17th event. The modified mania event can proceed as advertised with regard to planning legislation, and will be considered as an event which would fall within the 28 day rule. This opinion is based upon the information to hand at present and may need to be re-considered should any additional events take place that this LPA is not currently aware of." This means that potentially, the banger stadium could legally run 28 such events each year in addition to the 17 days of banger racing. MDDC Environmental Health will still monitor noise levels on July 24 to see if such additional events constitute a Statutory Noise Nuisance.
May 27, 2011 - How to complain about noise from the banger stadium. The banger stadium is in the MDDC area, so complaints about noise from the stadium need to be made to MDDC Environmental Health, Tel 01884 244601/2/3 MDDC do not operate outside normal office hours, so complaints about weekend races need to be made on the next working day. MDDC recommend that you also keep a "noise diary" which can be down loaded from
http://www.middevon.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4562 Note: One of the reasons that MDDC give for not being able to place a Noise Abatement Order on extra events at the stadium (such as the July24 drifting demonstration) is that they do not normally receive complaints from residents about noise from the allowed 17 banger race events - perhaps it is time to let MDDC know what you think about noise from banger race events.
May 17, 2011 - Clayhidon Parish Council unanimously support open letter to MDDC requesting a Noise Abatement Order be placed on the banger stadium preventing more that 17 events taking place there, be they races or demonstrations (see
open letter ). This was agreed unanimously last night by the parish council under its new Chairman Richard Kallaway. MDDC Councillor Frank Rosamund said that MDDC officers were researching what action could be taken and following the parish council's unanimous agreement to support the letter he agreed to speak to them again.
May 7, 2011 - Clayhidon website publishes links to the open letter to MDDC.
If you live in Clayhidon parish, have a look at the excellent Clayhidon Website where Gareth and Alison Weekes who run the village website have published a link to the open letter to MDDC requesting a Noise Abatement Order be placed on the banger stadium to prevent motor sports in excess of the 17 already allowed from taking place. The Clayhidon website has lots of useful information about the parish including parish council reports.
April 27, 2011 - The open lettter to MDDC is now published on the MDDC Petitions webpage, which means that you can still add your name to it electronically. Simply go to http://www.middevon.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6904 click on the link to "view petitions" and then click on the button "select to sign" and then the "submit" box at the bottom of the page. If you know others who would like to add their name to the petition alco please email this link to them.
April 25, 2011 - 35 local residents sign open letter to MDDC
35 local residents in the area around Smeatharpe banger stadium have put their name to an open letter to MDDC requesting a Noise Abatement Order to be placed on the stadium that will prevent any motor sports taking place their in excess of the 17 banger races already permitted. See open letter The response received from MDDC will be published on this website.
April 22, 2011, Midweek Herald gets it wrong.The March 26 streetwars style drift and drag day was portrayed as a "smooth ride for drifters" by the Midweek Herald who wrote a piece based on second hand information from D&C police and EDDC. Smeatharpe residents corrected the facts in the newspaper's article but EDDC insisted that no complaints were received about the event despite the fact that two residents called the EDDC out of hours number specifically to complain about noise on the day. It seems that as well as not being able to believe what you read in the papers, you cannot now believe what EDDC tell you!. Full details at Drift and drag day was not so smooth
April 15, 2011, Autospeed/Modified Mania advertise that July 24 "WILL NOT BE A COMPETITIVE EVENT"New on the Modified Mania website in the section announcing that a drifting demonstration has been added to the schedule the words "These are only drifting demonstrations and IN NO WAY A COMPETITIVE EVENT" have been added. It is likeley that MDDC Planning Enforcement have warned Autospeed and the Modified Mania organisers that if it were a "race" it would be in breach of the CLU. - All the more reason to add your name to the open letter described below. Please email our.aonb@googlemail.com to have your name added.
April 11, 2011, Open letter to MDDC requesting them to prohibit more motor sports at banger stadium.The owners of Smeatharpe Banger Stadium are attempting to run another motor sports event on July 24 which is in excess of the 17 banger race days they are permitted. This 18th event is being called a "drifting demonstration" but because it is not called a "race", Mid Devon District Council are likely to allow it to proceed even though it will produce as much noise as any race. This letter will be sent to MDDC, EDDC, DCC and the press, calling for any motor sports event at the stadium in excess of the 17 days allowed to be prohibited by a Noise Abatement Order similar to that that now applies to the rest of the airfield. The letter will carry more weight, the more names that appear at the botom of it. Please send an email to our.aonb@gmail.com indicating that you would like your name added to the bottom of the letter. Please send your email before April 23.
March 30, 2011. 206 attendees at Streetwars drag and drift day, according to Lee Child's Facebook page. A number of noise complaints were registered with EDDC about the drfiting which took place on the main E-W runways and drag racing that took place on the N-S runway from 9am to 4pm. A significant police presence was deployed by D&C Police all day long with regular police car patrols through the village and a police van parked in the middle of the village with a helpful display telling attendees what their speed is. As with other Streewars events, cars came in convoy from the M5/A303 to the event on Saturday and stopped in the centre of the village, where their sat navs took them to. The policing of these events is paid for by you through your Council Tax. You may wish to suggest to your District and County Councillors that the Police Authority charge the organisers for policing the roads during these events, just as they do for football matches. The next Streetwars day is Saturday August 13.
March 24, 2011. Streetwars confirms they are returning to Smeatharpe Airfield. The following has been posted on the
York Raceway website where Streetwars moved to in 2009 after the Noise Abatement Order was put in place.
"Dakota Drag Strip Returns to Smeatharpe airfieldLee Child of LA Performance Services is proud to annouce that after tremendous hard work from Lloyd Stevens and the group of land owners of Smeatharpe airfield, drag racing will return to the Devon venue.Dakota Drag Strip will hold three events for this 2011 season. The following dates are 26th March, 13th August and 19th November, these are all Saturday one day events. Dakota Drag Strip is open to competition / full race / street legal cars and bikes. So with plenty going on the 1/8 mile drag strip, the action doesn't stop there. Dakota Drag Strip has a 600 x 47 metre drift area also a concrete area for show 'n' shine.
The March event will see test and tune action, quick 8 car shootout, quick 8 bike shootout, Engine tuner Japanese car series. On the drift area Dakota Drag Strip will host the first round of the regional ODC drift championship. As always at Dakota Drag Strip it will have a show 'n' shine and clubs stands taking place with trophies up for grabs. The website is under construction at the moment but do join our facebook page for regular updates."

March 19, 2011. According to their Facebook page, 170 people/cars/motorbikes are now attending the March 26 drifting and drag racing on Smeatharpe Airfield, organised by Lee Child, the car spares dealer from Paignton who ran Sunday Streetwars before the Noise Abatement Order was put in place. In case local residents need it, the EDDC Envoronmental Health out of hours number for noise complaints on the day is 01395 516854
March 12, 2011. Garlandhayes windturnes. A new planning application has been made to MDDC for two windturbines on 12 metre high towers at Garlandhayes Farm. (See
11/00075/FULL). This follows rejection of a similar application by MDDC last year. .
March 12, 2011. Second streetwars day is Saturday August 13 according to the website Driftworks .
March 1, 2011. Four streetwars style drift and drag days planned for Smeatharpe Airfield. EDDC Envornmental Health (who are responsible for enforcing the Noise Abatement Order) have confirmed that in addition to the streetwars style drift and drag day advertised for March 26, they are aware that the land owners plan to hold three more such drift and drag days in 2011 - in August, November and December, on dates yet to be set. This will bring the total number of number of motor sports activities on the main runways to 7 - the maximum allowed under the terms of the NAO. (See What happens on Smeatharpe aifield today )
February 28, 2011. Your views on the Blackdown Hills AONB are wanted by Devon County Council who have launched an online consultation about what people in Devon value most about their National Parks, AONB's and World Heritage sites. The simple questionnaire also asks you what your hopes and fears are for the future of these landscapes. Since we are seeing a concerted effort to again increase the amount of noisy motor sports at Smeatharpe, it is suggested that this questionnaire is a great opportunity to let the Local Authorities know that they are not doing enough to protect the peace and tranquillity of the Blackdown Hills AONB and that if they are not careful AONB may come to mean "Area Of Noisy Behaviour"
In addition to the return of Streetwars (see below), the banger stadium are also trying to run more than 17 motor sports events as allowed by their CLU planning approval, by adding a "drifting demonstration" on July 24, 2011. MDDC are currently deciding if a "demonstration" (which creates just as much noise as a "race") falls within the CLU restrictions.
The questionnaire is online at http://www.devon.gov.uk/yourdevonlandscape Simply click on the line "Fill in Online Form". Responses will be accepted up until March 31, 2011.
February 25, 2011 - Streetwars is trying to get back to Smeatharpe.
After a rather feeble attempt by the Modified Mania brigade to reinvent Streetwars at Smeatharpe last November, to which the weather was very unkind, the original organiser of Streetwars seems to be trying to organise these dreadful events at Smeatharpe again. Using only, it seems, advertising via a Facebook page, a Streewars style "Test and tune drag racing and drifting @ Dakota Drag Strip" day is being advertised for the main airfield on Saturday March 26, 9am to 4pm. (See Incompatible browser | Facebook ) Going by the name of Lee and only giving a mobile phone number, it is likely that the organiser is Lee Child, the car parts dealer who was responsible for Streetwars until it was stopped by the Noise Abatement Order in 2009. With unlimited drag racing for £50 and unlimited drifting for £25, it is exactly the Streewars formula invented by Mr Child. EDDC and D&C Police are being asked to look at this event but as there are only 5 known events organised on the main airfield so far this year, it will be legal provided it remains within the limitations set by the noise abatement order (See EDDC Press Release for details)
January 26, 2011 - Banger racing gets off to a bad start
The 2011 schedule of racing at the banger stadium got of to a bad start last Sunday (January 23) when according to Autospeed's own website two people were hospitalised during the day - one a driver, was taken to hospital in Exeter suffering from broken ribs and a punctured lung. The other, one of the organisers, was taken to hospital in Taunton where he underwent emergency surgery. (It has since been reported that this was due to an aneurysm from which he is now recovering). As with all races in 2010, alcohol was on sale throughout the event. In an email received today, John Clarke, MDDC planning officer says MDDC are still taking legal advice on whether the drifting demonstrations scheduled for July 24 infringe the stadium's CLU.
January 18, 2011 - 17 banger race dates published
Autospeed have now published 17 race days for 2011 (See What happens on Smeatharpe airfield today ) It remains to be seen if MDDC will consider the "drfiting demonstration" on July 24 to be an 18th motor sports event, thereby infringng the CLU limit of 17 events.
January 13, 2011 - 10 banger race dates published.
Autospeed have published the first 10 of their allowed 17 race dates, including one evening race. MDDC are considering if drifting demonstrations during the Modified Mania day will use up one of the stadiums 17 race days. Further information and all race dates will be listed on this site when they are published by Autospeed (See What happens on Smeatharpe airfield today )
December 12, 2010 - Carpetbagger Rally Cancelled for January 2011.
A midlands car club magazine called The Sump has published the following: "This event (Carpetbagger Rally) has been cancelled for 2011 and the reason given is a lack of time due to work commitments for one of the main organisers. This is one of the most popular and difficult events in the calendar and everyone is hoping it comes back again in 2012" The RAC Motor Sports Association also confirm that they have recieved no notice of the rally, so it does look like our lanes will be quite in the early hours of Sunday, January 23, but expect this rally to be back in 2012!
December 2, 2010 - EDDC & Police took action at Drift & Drag day, Nov 20
The text below was posted by the drift and drag day organisers on Nov 16, and is copied from a "drifting website", (http://www.trampdrift.co.uk/Forum/TD/showthread.php?p=51768). It confirms that EDDC & D&C Police did take action with the organisers on both safety and noise issues, although the organisers indicate they were not happy with the changes required: "Just an update on the event planned at Smeaharpe on Saturday November 20h. We have today met with the local Safety Advisory Group and Police and they have told us we need to make some alterations to the event. As a comittee we are not particuarly in agreement with the changes but the alternative was not to get a license from the local council and having to cancel the event. The following changes will be put in place. 1. A strict enforcement by Safety Camera Partnership of speed into and out of the event SPEED CAMERAS 2. a STRICT ADHERENCE TO NOISE LEVELS 105DB. 3. Regarding the drag strip anything quicker than 11.00 must run over the 1/8 mile but slower can run 1/4 mile. 4. BikeS can only run over the 1/8 because of the surface. 5. DRIFT AREA CANNOT HAVE 3RD GEAR CORNER WITHOUT CONCRETE BARRIERS IN PLACE (THE COST BEING £2000 + VAT which we cannot justify on a one day event) if all goes well will look at a weekend event next summer with concrete barriers. The new Drift area is 1400 feet x 130 feet 6. Last action is at 16.00 hrs We now have FREE TYRE CHANGING FACILITY SORTED. ENTRY FEE ON THE GATE £5.00 If anyone is unhappy and wishes a Full refund please e-mail us with your paypal e-mail address and we will process a refund. We are sorry that we have had to take these decisions but unfortunately we have no choice other than cancelling the event. Thanks Rob & Sean Gladstone Modified Madness"
NB. The same website also has a note posted following the event stating that a blue suburu has been banned from "streetwars, drift inc or cone dodgers events" after doing "donuts" in the parking area. Modified Madness Drift and Drag may not be Streetwars, but it is clearly the same gang of people who are involved!
November 20, 2010 - Weather curtails drift and drag day.
Surface water lying on the runways, a wintry mist and an easterly wind all helped to reduce noise and nuisance from today's drift and drag day. Judging by the number of "hot hatchbacks" with noisy exhausts travelling through Smeatharpe village in the morning it was well attended, but the organisers put a notice on their website early in the morning cancelling the drag racing due to standing water on the runways and saying that more space would be available for drifting. D&C police were parked in Smeatharpe village hall in the morning and seemed to be stopping hot hatchbacks on their way to the airfield. Judging by the number of such cars that were travelling around Smeatharpe past Moonhayes and Newhouse chapel, word of the police presence got around quickly. No police presence was seen in the afternoon. Expect drift and drag days to be back in 2011
November 16, 2010 - Drifting tickets for November 20 "SOLD OUT" !!!!!
According to their website (http://www.driftanddrag.co.uk/tickets.html) the £40 tickets for unlimited drfting on November 20 are sold out.Beware - this means that the event seems likely to have many participants and the noise of tyre squeels is likely to go on all day
November 16, 2010 - An attendee at Smeatharpe airfield racing event involved in road rage incident in Exeter
Exeter Crown Court has heard how a man spent a day racing his car in an "organised event" (Streetwars?) on Smeatharpe Airfield in July 2008 then got involved in a road rage incident in Exeter when the two cars rammed each other. Read the full story from "This is Exeter" at
Road Rage Trial The case was heard at Exeter Crown Court in October 2010
November 15, 2010. - Police to monitor airfield Nov 20 and first 2011 banger race date published.
D&C police have confirmed that will be monitoring the return of streetwars (by another name) to Smeatharpe airfield on November 20.
The banger stadium have published the first race date for 2011 as being Sunday January 23. This is the same weekend that the 60 cars of the Carpetbagger Rally travel 190 miles through the lanes of the Blackdown Hills between Midnight and 3am on the Sunday morning. It is believed the stadium will act as a staging area for the rally. You can object if they plan to pass your property. See Carpetbagger Letter
November 11, 2010. - EDDC is of the view that the November 20 (or 29?) "drag and drift day" will be legal.

According to ANNB records there have been 5 motor sports events todate in 2010 on the airfield which leaves 2 more dates available this year (the maximum allowed being 7 with 30 days minimum respite between each event). On this basis, Andrew Ennis (EDDC Environmental Health) concludes that this event on November 20 is legal, provided that it finishes at 4pm (not 6pm as advertised)
However, during the court hearing, Mr Stevens and his solicitor argued that no noise abatement order was necessary since by then Streetwars (as was) had disbanded. Mr Stevens also said in court that he would be happy to keep Streetwars off the site (See Notes from NAO Appeal Hearing )
"Modified Madness Drift and Drag" is clearly Streetwars by another name and Lee Childs who was the organiser of Streetwars is again involved. EDDC have confirmed to ANNB that environmental health officers will attend the event and monitor noise and other things.

November 10, 2010. - IT SEEMS THAT SOMEONE IS TRYING TO RESTART STREETWARS ON SMEATHARPE AIRFIELD AGAIN
If you have seen page 23 of the November 9 edition of View from Honiton, you will have spotted the ad for a "Modified Madness Drift & Drag day" at Smeatharpe airfield on Saturday November 29 - 9am to 6pm.
November 29 is a Monday, but the website referenced in the ad (http://www.driftanddrag.co.uk/) says the event is on November 20. Pullmans the newspaper publisher say the ad was provided to them as a pdf file and if it is wrong it is the organisers responsibility. - Typical incompetence from the Sunday Streetwars organisers.
The website includes advertising from Enginetuner Ltd, a Plymouth based company who were involved with Sunday Streetwars and also lists 6 "stands" - again all of which were associated with Sunday Streetwars. Just as with Sunday Streetwars, they advertise unlimited drag runs and unlimited drifting between 9am and 6pm. Someone is attempting to bring Sunday Streetwars back to the airfield in all but name.
The outcome from the court case in August 2009 is that the Noise Abatement Order prohibits this kind of event at any time, since the order is not based on noise levels but on the type of tyre squeal and engine noise that continuous drag and drifting all day will produce. EDDC have been asked what enforcement action EDDC they can take and if they can do this before the event or if they have to wait for the event to happen and then take action for a breach of the noise abatement order.
Further information will be posted on this website.
October 2, 2010 Advance warning - Carpetbagger Rally scheduled for January 22 & 23, 2011, midnight to 2am. (See Latest News entry for January 28, 2010 below) This rally, for 60 cars on a 190 mile route through the lanes of the Blackdown Hills in Devon and Somerset takes place from midnight on January 22 until 2am on January 23. The route changes each year and the drivers do not know where they are going until their navigators are given the map at the start of the rally. The organiser, a club called Road Rally Register, puts notes through the doors of houses along the route in the weeks before and last year they implied they have Ministry of Transport approval for the rally - They do not and anyone living along the route can ask the organisers and police to request that it be moved away from their property (see carpetbagger letter). The RAC Motor Sports Association under whose rules the rally does operate say that every effort should be made to minimise disturbance to local residents. If you get a note about the rally through your door, and do not want the rally to pass you, email our.aonb@googlemail.com with the details.


September 27, 2010 Banger stadium get to run an extra race event. On August 21, 2010, (the same day as the VE/VJ day celebrations) the banger stadium held an extra race event described on their website as "two-wheel driving, spectacular car crashes and stunts, a drifiting display and a breathtaking motor cycle freestyle stunt routine, interspersed with some fun and clowning around" This additional event means that this year they will hold 18 events - one more than the 17 permitted by their CLU approved by MDDC. When ANNB reported this additional event to MDDC all mention of it disappeared from Autospeed's website after MDDC Planning Enforcement contacted them about it. For the last month MDDC have been taking legal advice to decide if the 18th event on October 31 will breach the CLU. Today, MDDC have decided that the stadium can hold this extra event without breaching the CLU. John Clarke from MDDC Planning Enforcement states "It is the opinion of this Councils Legal Department that the Stunt Event that took place at the above stadium on 21/8/10 would ‘not’ be an event to be included within the planning permission or certificate of lawfullness, not an event within Part 4 Class B (B2b). As a result the stunt event would be an event that would be classed as permitted development Part 4 Class B 28 days, General Permitted Development Order 1995. The stunt event would not therefore add to the approved dates and consequently the scheduled event on 31/10/10 will be lawful." Note - John Clarke has confirmed to ANNB that this means that in addition to the 17 banger race days allowed by the CLU, they can now also run 11 other motor sports events each year such as the stunt event and modified mania which was held earlier in the year. You may wish to let your Parish, District and County Councillors know your views on this.
September 20, 2010 - Wind Turbine appeal dismissed. The appeal against MDDC's refusal of planning permission for an 18 metre high 11Kw wind turbine at Garlandhayes Farm in the Blackdown Hills AONB has been dismissed by the Secretary of State's Inspector (see Appeal Decision ) - The decision is primarily on the Turbine's impact on the AONB following a site visit in August. Whilst this may set a precedent for future wind turbine applicatons 18 metres high in the AONB, it should be noted that the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership have this month published a report on renewable energy activities in the AONB (see AONB Renewable Energy Report) which takes the view that large scale wind turbines (over 90 metres high) would have a "significant adverse effect " on the AONB and sees "very limited potential" for medium scale turbines (25-90m high), but sees "some potential" for small scale turbines (12-25m high) and gives a green light to micro generation turbines (<11m high). What are views? - email your comments to our.aonb@googlemail.com
September 10, 2010 - Third Stages Rally of 2010 is on Sunday October 17.
Starting with "documentation, noise tesing and scrutineering" at 7am, Bournemouth Car Club will hold the third (and last for 2010) stages rally on Sunday October 17. The first car race stage begins at 9.15 and the last car race stage finishes at 15.30 (Conforming to the restrictions of the Noise Abatement Order). It does seem that the organisers have taken heed of previous feedback from EDDC since the regulations for the day state "The use of anti lag is prohibited at the venue and must be switched off. There will be continuing noise tests throughout the day" (See http://www.bdcc.org.uk/primamotorsportstages2010regsv2.pdf ) "Anti lag" is a mechanism that can be fitted to turbo charged cars to improve power at low speed by injecting fuel into the cylinders at the moment the valves open. The fuel ignites through the turbo, increasing engine speed but it also produces a flame and very loud bangs through the exhaust, which have been heard at previous stages rallies. Let us see if this rule is adhered to
August 31, 2010 - The banger stadium can have as many TEN licenses to sell alcohol, as they like - MDDC say so !!!
According to Marjorie Parish, MDDC Licensing Manager, the banger stadium can have another 12 TEN licenses to sell alcohol and after they use those up, they can have another 12 - so long as they do the selling in a different part of their property from the first or any previous group of 12. What an ass the law is! MDDC claim their hands are tied by the 2003 Licensing Act (put in place by the oaf, now Lord, John Prescott) which allows this to happen, so long as the area in which alcohol is sold is (slightly) different from where it was sold before. According to MDDC, the 12 TENS up until August 15, stated the "catering area" as the location at the stadium for the sale of alcohol and the 13th TEN they have given MDDC notice of on September 12 is for the "drivers enclosure" or "pits", so MDDC that they and D&C police cannot object. Whilst this may seem an hopeless situation and nothing can be done about the stadium selling alcohol at as many motor sports events as they wish, there is a glimmer of light: - The new government has started a consultation on the 2003 Licensing Act, including TEN's, and you can make your views known in the consultation organised by the Home Office, BUT THE CONSULTATION CLOSES ON SEPTEMBER 8, so you don't have long to act. The consultation document requesting feedback is at http://consultations.homeoffice.gov.uk/survey.php?survey=3&pager=7 and there are three proposals that are worthy of comment:
Consultation Question 19(a) All the responsible authorities can object to a TEN on all the licensing objectives
Consultation Question 19(b) The police (and other responsible authorities) have five working days to object to a TEN
Consultation Question 20(b) Restrict the number of TEN's that could be applied for in the same vicinity
Each response is limited to 200 words maximum, The following are suggested entries that you may wish to make with of course any changes/additions you feel approriate (Easiest way is to copy and paste from this page)
Consultation Question 19(a) All the responsible authorities can object to a TEN on all the licensing objectives
I live in the Blackdown Hills AONB where a banger stadium operates on an old disused WW2 airfield. A planning restriction limits them to 17 race days racing per year, almost all of which are on Sunday's when the nearest public transport is 9 miles away. In the last two years they have sold alcohol at the majority of race meetings using TEN's and attendee, who come from outside the area have to drive through narrow unclassified country lanes to reach the stadium. Local residents complain to the police and local authorities about the spectator and towed banger traffic this generates, particularly if participants and/or spectators who have to drive to these events buy and consume alcohol when they are there. Local authorites and the police say there is nothing that can be done, but all responsible authorities AND LOCAL RESIDENTS should be able to object to TEN's for events like these where the sale and consumption of alcohol makes surrounding country roads in the AONB, dangerous places for local people, walking, cycling, riding or driving.
Consultation Question 19(b) The police (and other responsible authorities) have five working days to object to a TEN
The police, other responsible authorities AND LOCAL RESIDENTS should have five OR MORE days to object to a TEN. The TEN process includes minimal advertising of TEN's on local authority websites. Five days is a very short period for anybody to react and it should be 28 days not 5 days. Anybody organising such an event at which up to 499 people are to attend will have organised it well in advance and 28 days is a resonable notification period. 5 days is far too short a period.
Consultation Question 20(b) Restrict the number of TEN's that could be applied for in the same vicinity
Here in the Blackdown Hills AONB the banger stadium have already used 12 TEN's to sell alcohol in the "catering area", but have now given D&C police and MDDC notice that from Sept 12 they will be selling alcohol in the "pits area". This is just a game of musical chairs that they are playing to get as many days of alcohol sales at banger race events as they wish using a mobile bar. It makes absolute nonsense of the 12 notice limit. The law should limit any one premises (with a premises defined as the whole of a property, as is already understood for council tax or rating purposes) and should not enable the renting or borrowing of neighbouring premises or fields to circumvent the rules.
NOTE: After you fill in the consultation pages, the site does ask for some information about you, but you are not required to give your name or address.
August 29, 2010 - Banger stadium are deviously trying to get more than 12 licences to sell alcohol on race days.
Smeatharpe banger stadium exhausted the number of TEN licenses (max 12) allowed for 2010, on August 15, but they seem determined to sell alcohol at the remaining banger races this year. They have submitted a TEN License to MDDC for a 13th day of alcohol sales, for the next Sunday banger race on Sunday September 12 and they seem to think they can get around the maximum restriction of 12 by defining the location as "Smeatharpe Stadium Pits" rather than Smeatharpe Stadium and giving the location the postcode EX14 9SF, rather than EX14 9RF. See the MDDC on line licensing website at http://www.middevon.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2823 Click the "online licensing" link and enter just EX14 in the postcode line.
Clearly the pits at the banger stadium are a part of the one site for which they have already had their maximum allowed 12 TEN permits and one would have thought the pit area at any public motor sports event is the last place you want alcohol to be present. They also claim a different postcode for the "pits" (if there is one) but the Royal Mail postcode finder website does not give any postcode for the stadium or the "pits"!
This is another devious act by the stadium, just like the multiple planning applications and CLU that got them their increase to 17 days and if you agree you can object by contacting MDDC Licensiing. Contact details for MDDC Licensing are at http://www.middevon.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1238 and details of the MDDC licensing committee are at http://www.middevon.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5482

August 25, 2010 - Changes to this website.
Wetpaint, the company that provides this free website http://annb.wikifoundry.com have changed the way such websites operate and it is not now possible to have it Username and Password protected. This website is therefore now open to anyone to access. Please add the link to your favoutites list and then you will only need to click on the link to access the website. The website however remains locked and cannot be edited by anyone without writer permission. If you wish to comment on the website or submit information to be added to it please send an email to our.aonb@googlemail.com
August 18, 2010 - MDDC asked to rule if the banger stadium "stunt show" on Aug21 is covered by Autospeeds CLU.
Following the late addition of a stunt show night on Sat Aug 21, from 6.30pm, to the banger stadiums programme, ANNB have asked MDDC Planning to rule if this within the limitations of the stadiums CLU to hold 17 events each year. Described on Autospeeds website as "two-wheel driving, spectacular car crashes and stunts, a drifiting display and a breathtaking motor cycle freestyle stunt routine, interspersed with some fun and clowning around" it promises to be as noisy if not noisier than a banger race day. MDDC believe that it does fall within the CLU restriction and that would mean that the 18th banger race day on October 31 would be in breach of the planning restriction and would have to be cancelled. MDDC have however decided to take legal advice before acting and when that is known it will be published here.
July 31, 2010 - A number of cars were stopped attending and leaving Modified Mania on July 25 by the Police and are likely to be prosecuted for a number of offences including noisy exhausts, bald tyres and speeding. D&C police had 5 cars commited to the event and surrounding roads during the day. Despite this, MDDC say they cannot prevent the event having its TEN license to sell alcohol because under the 2003 licensing act, what people do on the way to and from an event has nothing to do with the event. If you think differently, the person to let know is Mike Sais who handles licensing in the MDDC area for D&C police. . ANNB have sent details of this and past events to Mr Sais who will consider if the act "Pole Katz" requires a sex trade license !!!. The date of next years modified mania is already advertised for July 24 2011 (See http://www.devoncarshows.com/index.html ) See Midweek Herald article on complaints about noise: Midweek Herald article
July 25, 2010 - "Modified Mania" woke many people in the village at 07.30 this morning when a convoy of 20+ hot hatchbacks with 6 inch diameter exhaust pipes stopped in Smeatharpe becaue their sat navs told them they were at the stadium. It took them a while to find someone with a map after which they all did noisy three point turns in any available driveway and headed off to the stadium. This was logged as a complaint with D&C police under Ref No 359-25/7/10 and others have since added to this log. D&C police tell ANNB that they knew nothing of this event until the day before (despite it having taken place last year) and had 5 patrol cars in the area as a result of convoys of cars travelling to the evnt from the M5, A303 and A30. These cars will return to their nornal patrols as holiday traffic builds on these roads and the Police encourage anyone who sees bad or dangerous driving to take the vehicles number and report it to them.
July 16, 2010 - EDDC- Mansell settlement is not the level of restriction that the NAO would have delivered, as claimed by EDDC. The claim by EDDC that "we have entered into a legal agreement which restricts the current planning permissions in terms similar to those which we had tried to impose with the noise abatement order" (See Midweek Herald article ) is not what it seems. Peter Adams (Sheldon) has told ANNB that the NAO specified 9 race weekends only, which included Saturday practice day, and the Sunday race day (ie 18 days in total). The council have given away 33 days, ie 9 race weekends, plus 15 other practice Saturdays. This means half of all weekends at Dunkeswell will be disturbed by noisy racing karts and in addition, the noise levels on the daily activity of leisure karts have been increased to ensure these karts conform (which they did not under the NAO). It is believed that the Blackdown Hills are the only AONB protected area in the country that facilitates motorsport and whilst EDDC are trying to position the out of court settlement as delivering the same as the NAO, it clearly does not. EDDC dropped the court action fearing its cost when councils are being forced to reduce spending, whilst Mansell's wealth continued to defend their position. So, despite all the legislation that protects such areas, the peace and quiet of the Blackdowns AONB gets decided by who is prepared to spend the most. What do you think? - have your say by emailing our.aonb@googlemail.com
July 12, 2010 - Banger stadium only allowed two more licenses to sell alcohol. Smeatharpe banger stadium will, by the end of July, have had 12 days this year on which they were allowed by MDDC & D&C Police to sell alcohol. Whilst any one premises is allowed a maximum of 12 such licenses in one calendar year, because two of the banger stadiums 12 days were within 96 hours of another day (May 1&2 and June 19&20) this only counts as 10 licenses so far this year, and therefore leaves them an additional two licenses, after which they will not be allowed any more for 2010. From August 1 onwards the banger stadium have 6 events scheduled and ANNB will be monitoring these events to ensure that no more than 2 more licenses are approved by MDDC and D&C Police. Details of restrictions that apply to TEN Licenses
July 11, 2010 - EDDC have dropped the court case against Mansell's Dunkeswell Kart Circuit! A sad day for the Blackdown Hills, EDDC have dropped their High Court case against Mansell Raceway which was due to commence in Exeter Crown Court July 12. An out of court settlement has been reached between EDDC and Mansell which means that Judge Farmers ruling from November 2008 that their is no statutory noise nuisance, stands. It is understood that the settlement requires the kart circuit to monitor future noise levels, not to use a number of two-stroke trainng saturdays and to introduce testing for new leasuer karts. None of this will significantly reduce the noise suffered by Dunkeswell and Sheldon residents. More details at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/10585200.stm and http://www.savemotorsport.com/news.php Read EDDC's comments on the out of court settlement at EDDC in out of court settlement at Dunkeswell (From the Midweek Herald)
June 8, 2010 - Police pay to have Smeatharpe 30mph limit advertised in banger stadium magazine. Since the banger stadium will have a licence to sell alcohol up until 10pm on Saturday June 19, ANNB took the opportunity to ensure that D&C Police are aware of this late night event with alcohol. The local police team have confirmed in their reply that will be monitoring the event and that they have placed an adverisement reminding attendees that there is a 30mph limit in Smeatharpe in the events programme. D&C Police had to pay Autospeed (the track owners) for this advertisement. This means we have all paid for it via our Council Tax! Is this a demonstration of Autospeed's "public spirit". Could they not put the advert in for free - it is in the interests of their spectators (customers) after all?
June 5, 2010 - When are all the airfield gates closed? The airfield landowners have claimed to EDDC that a trespasser caused the noise on Bank Holiday Monday and that they lock the airfield gates when they are not carrying out farming activities on the airfield; so ANNB is keeping a log of when the airfield gates are open and when they are locked/closed. You can help us keep this log by sending an email to our.aonb@googlemail.com after you drive/cycle/walk past the airfield, indicating which gates are open, locked or closed. We are calling the gate where the gun is parked, Gate A. The (main) gate halfway along the straight in the road, Gate B and the Gate (which is normally closed) between Newhouse Corner and the Smeatharpe 30mph sign, Gate C. Just send the email with what you have seen (particularly on days when the banger stadium is operating) together with date and approx time of observation and ANNB will be able to challenge any claims that they are locked when they have been seen open. Thank you.
June 3, 2010 - Tyre and engine noise on Bank Holiday Monday. On BH Monday May 31st, two Smeatharpe residents drove up to the airfield to find who was causing the loud engine noise and tyre screeches that could be heard between 6pm and 7pm. At least one car was on the runway emulating Lewis Hamilton and the incident was reported to EDDC, since if this was treated as a "Motor Sports Event" under the terms of the Noise Abatement Order (NAO), then the 3 Stages Rally on June 27 would not be allowed since it would be less that 30 days after May 30. EDDC have confirmed that they have spoken to the landowners following the report of this incident but that they say that it must have been someone trespassing on the runways following the banger stadium event the same day. EDDC also suggest that local residents need to be "reasonable and pragmatic" about unauthorised use of the runways like this, but is it not also reasonable to expect the landowners to be "reasonable and pragmatic" about securing their property to prevent unauthorised use, (particularly on the 17 published dates each year when the banger stadium are operating)? However, the main gate onto the airfield is very rarely closed (let alone locked) and it was not closed on Monday - there are no signs warning trespassers that they would be in breach of a court order if they race vehicles on the runways and the landowners are still refusing to inform EDDC of the dates of the 7 days of permitted motor sports events they allow/organise under the terms of the NAO. Local residents have no option therefore but to keep reporting ALL motor sports activity on the airfield to ensure that the NAO is not breached. If you have any information about vehicles racing on the runways at any time, please email the information to our.aonb@googlemail.com
May 17, 2010 - 3 Stages Rallies now scheduled for 2010. The first stages rally of 2010 took place on the airfield on Saturday February 20, (postponed from January 9). A maximum of three stages rallies are allowed in any one year and Bournenouth Car Club are now advertising two more - on Sunday June 27 and Sunday October 17 and each rally will be for a minimum of 40 and maximum of 70 vehicles. No engine or tyre noise is allowed before 9am or after 4pm on these days, but amazingly, the online information for participants says the gates will be open from 7am for "documentation, noise and scrutineering" Keep the EDDC out of hours number ( 01935 578237 01935 578237) to hand!
April 1, 2010 - Petition to save Britain's World War II Airfields. The Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust is compiling a petition to preserve Britain's WWII Airfields, to be presented to N10 Downing Street. Closing date for names to be added to the petition is May31st. Full details at http://www.abct.org.uk/index.php
March 3, 2010 - "Sunday Streetwars is reborn and back!" are the words on the new Sunday Streewars website (see http://www.streetnights.com/index.php ) Thankfully, they are not back at Smeatharpe but at York Raceway (Elvington) and Santa Pod where they advertise three Sunday races at each location. The first Sunday Streetwar at Santa Pod on Feb 28 was rained off. The website also says "Sunday Streetwars at a race track near you" - so we should assume that Mr Childs is looking for other locations to hold more Sunday Streetwars in 2010.
February 24, 2010 - The Department of Transport, Road User Safety Division have today copied ANNB in on an email to the RAC Motor Sports Association, pointing out that their members are wrongly claiming that Road Rallies organised by them are authorised by a permit issued by the Department of Transport. Thiis follows ANNB's contact with the Department of Transport in January after the organisers of the Carpetbagger Rally put notices through residents doors claiming that a permit for it had been issued by the Department of Transport (see entry below dated January 28). The email is a gentle "rap over the knuckles" for the RAC Motor Sports Association and asks them to draft a form of words for all motor clubs to use when organising road rallies which makes it clear that the only authorisation provided is from the RAC Motor Sports Association Ltd. Let us see what notices get posted through doors along the route of the rally next December.
February 21, 2010 - EDDC gave a warning to the organisers of yesterdays stages rally on the airfield which prompted the following being added to the information for participants "5.2 Under strict instructions from East Devon District District Council THERE MUST BE NO REVVING OR WARMING OF ENGINES BEFORE 9AM. Anyone not observing this is breaking a court order and puts the future of the venue at risk."
As a consequence, no noise was heard before 9am or after 4pm although the rally was very noisy between those times. Increased police presence on local roads was noticed together with a radar speed trap in Smeatharpe village in the morning. 53 cars are registered as having taken part although a number withdrew during the day (see http://www.shmc.co.uk/2010/KynastonAutoServicesLtdStagesRally.htm ). The next stages rally is advertised for Sunday June 27.
February 2, 2010 - The first "stages rally" of 2010 is advertised as taking place on Smeatharpe Airfield on Saturday February 20. This is the event that was postponed from January 9, due to the weather, and consists of up to 60 vehicles (which do not have to be taxed or insured for public roads) racing on a 45 mile circuit laid out on the runways. Racing is advertised as starting at 9.05am, finishing by by 4pm, which would meet the requirements of the Noise Abatement Order. However "scrutineering and documentation" is advertised as taking place between 6.30am and 9am and any "racing, practising and the like" that takes place before 9am or after 4pm will be in breach of the NAO. EDDC have contacted the organiser who has confirmed that no noise from "racing, practising and the like" (the words of the NAO) will be created outside of these hours. EDDC will not be monitoring this event on the day, so if you are disturbed by noise before 9am or after 4pm it will be important to call the EDDC Environmental Health out of hours number ( 01395 516854 01395 516854). Thankfully there can now only be three "stages rallies" in 2010. Two more are already advertised - June 27 and October 18. See What happens on Smeatharpe airfield today
January 28, 2010 - In the early hours of Sunday morning (Jan24, Midnight to 2am) people in Upottery, Luppitt, Clayhidon, Dunkeswell, Churchstanton and other parishes were disturbed by the noise from 60 cars travelling through the lanes in the Blackdown Hills AONB. This was the “Carpetbagger Rally”, a night time road rally organised by a motor club in Dorset, starting in Axminster and travelling for 190 miles through the narrow lanes of the Blackdown Hills to its finish at Dunkeswell. This is an annual event. Some residents on the route had leaflets put through their doors in December stating that “The event has been authorised by the Department of Transport and a permit has been issued. Notice has been given to Devon & Cornwall and Avon & Somerset constabularies who confirm that they will monitor and patrol the rally”. Both of these statements are false, designed to add official authenticity to the rally and discourage residents from complaining. Neither the motor club who organised the rally, nor the RAC Motor Sports Association, under whose rules it runs, were named in the note. The note states that 50 cars are involved. In fact 60 cars participated. The facts are:
  1. The only approval/permit issued for the rally was issued by the RAC Motor Sports Association Ltd, a private company which is authorised under the Road Traffic Act 1969 to set the rules/regulations for such rallies. The Department of Transport never issues permits for such rallies directly and are investigating the claim made.



  2. D&C and A&S police were notified of the rally but their action is simply to inform local beat/community officers on duty on the route at the time of the rally. No special patrols are organised and no funding for such is provided.



350 cars applied to take part in this rally but the RACMSA limited the number of cars to 60 (presumably for safety reasons), and under the terms of their authorisation, all normal road, speed, noise, safety, and traffic restrictions must be obeyed. No roads are closed. County Council Highways Departments and the Blackdown Hills Partnership (which exists to protect the peace and tranquillity of the AONB) had no prior knowledge of last weekend’s rally. Although it was first thought that the rally crossed Smeatharpe Airfield, it is understood that it only travelled on the public roads around the airfield, but since the banger stadium floodlights were on at the time it is believed that the banger stadium acted as some kind of staging area for the rally. The actual route of the rally is not made public at any time. The popularity of this event means that it will be organised again next year, but anyone likely to be disturbed by it is fully within their rights to complain to the organisers, RACMSA, the police and local authorities. ANNB will provide details of who to object to prior to next year’s rally should you receive notice that the rally is planning to pass your property in the small hours of the morning and wish it wouldn’t. Please copy this information to anyone you know who was disturbed by the rally.
January 14, 2010 - The stages rally originally scheduled for January 9 has been rescheduled by the organisers to Saturday February 20th following "discussions with the landowners and police" as stated on the South Hams Motor Club website http://www.shmc.co.uk/ .
The banger stadium have now publsihed the maximum of 17 race days for 2010 allowed by their CLU. See What happens on Smeatharpe airfield today for all the 2010 dates when you can expect noise from the banger stadium. MDDC and D&C police have already approved the sale of alcohol before, during and after the first race day on Sunday January 24.
January 9, 2010 - 2010 was to have begun today with the first "stages rally" which has been postponed due to the snow, (http://www.shmc.co.uk/). The organisers say a new date for this stages rally will be announced shortly. The banger stadium have now published 16 of the 17 race days they are allowed for 2010 and as expected MDDC and D&C Police have started approving the sale of alcohol before, during and after these events, the first one being on January 24. See What happens on Smeatharpe airfield today
December 7, 2009 - 2009 is coming to a close with the banger stadium having held their maximum of 17 events permitted by their CLU. Alcohol was legally on sale before and during 12 of these events approved by MDDC and D&C Police through a "TEN" notice (see MDDC License Register). Since the single planning unit (which limits the total number of motor sports events on the rest of the old airfield to 14/year) and the Noise Abatement Order (which limits motor sports events on the old runways to 7/year) came into effect, it is believed that all subsequent events have operated within these restrictions.
Events scheduled for 2010 are beginning to appear on various websites and although the banger track have not yet published their full 2010 "fixture list", they have put the date of their first 2010 event on their website - Sunday January 24.
The first event on the airfield will however be a "stages rally" on Saturday January 9, organised by the South Hamms Motor Club (see http://www.rallyinguk.com/kynaston-auto-services-stages-rally-i2734.html ) Full details of these and all other events will be added to the What happens on Smeatharpe airfield today page as they become known. If you know of planned events that are not listed on this website please email details to our.aonb@googlemail.com .
ANNB wishes everyone a happy and quiet Christmas & New Year!
October 18, 2009 - With the words "We are back! Motorsport is back at Smeatharpe" Bournemouth Car Club announce on their website the Prima Stages Rally held today, Sunday on all the airfield runways. Under the terms of the Noise Abatement Order this type of Rally can only be held on two Sundays in each calendar year. Today is one of them and didn't we know it!!! It started at 9am on the Sunday morning and went on until 4pm - continuous loud engine and tyre noise almost all day long. Many people complained to EDDC and if you did not complain but were disturbed by the noise please complain to EDDC. Even with the NAO in force, 7 such events are allowed on the main runways, but only 2 can be on a Sunday each year with 30 days respite between each of the 7. This rally plus the motor bike scramble advertised for next Sunday Oct 25th, takes the total number of race days on the airfield to 13 for 2009 and that means that after Oct 25th, only one additional race day is possible on the airfield or the scramble track for the rest of the year. It will be important to keep monitoring motor sport activity on the airfield and scramble track for the rest of this year and informing us (our.aonb@googlemail.com ) and EDDC of anything you see if the NAO and/or planning unit restriction are to be enforced. They may be back but we are keeping count!
September 7, 2009 - "Save Motor Sport" The website run by the firm of solicitors who prosecuted the appeal by Smeatharpe Airfield landowners against the EDDC NAO has posted the following item on their website:
"Smeatharpe came to Court in August 2009. After a 2 day hearing the Magistrates allowed the Appeal and varied the Noise Abatement Notice in favour of the Appellants (The Landowners). The Magistrates considered the total ban sought by the Council was disproportionate and decided that 7 days use for motor sport would be reasonable taking into account tha activities of the banger stadium at the end of the runways. The Magistrates declined to make any award of costs so landing EDDC with an £11000.00 bill for the case. EDDC have therefore incurred some £115000.00 in legal fees fighting Noise Abatement issues in the East Devon in 2009. The Council appear to be claiming this as a victory." What Mr Rundle (who is also secretary of Dunkeswell Kart Circuit) fails to mention is that the court found that the landowners were causing a statutory noise nuisance and that EDDC were therefore correct in serving the NAO. Since Mr Rundle seems to be concerned about EDDC spending public money defending an NAO, he should remember that the cost was only incurred because his appellants appealed the order. The landowners had to pay their own costs (which are not disclosed) to Mr Rundles firm as well. See full notes of the case.
The The EXeter Express and Echo reported the following on August 27 "Lee Childs, who organised the Streetwars drag racing in 2008 at the airfield, said: "The risk is that people are going to race their cars on the road rather than the airfield, which was a safe place for car fans to follow their interest. It's unreasonable and unfair."
August 27, 2009 - EDDC Issue Press Release confirming last weeks court ruling that "Noisy motorsports are limited to 7 days per year on Smeatharpe Runways". Read the full EDDC Press Release In addition, EDDC have also confirmed today to ANNB that the airfield and the scramble track behind the stadium are being treated as one planning unit by EDDC and MDDC which means that the airfield and the scramble track together have a maximum of 14 days per year to run motor sports events/activities. A maximum of 7 of these can be on the main airfield as defined by the Noise Abatement Order. See also BBC News item of August 26.
August 20, 2009 - Noise Abatement Order Stands. After two full days in court, hearing the appeal against the Noise Abatement Order placed on Smeatharpe Airfield by EDDC in August 2008, the court ruled this afternoon that the Noise Abatement Order stands, but that it must also be modified to accommodate the level of motor sports activity that occurred on the airfield before it changed hands in 2006.
The NAO "prohibits vehicles racing at speed" on the airfield runways and adjoining taxi ways (i.e no vehicle racing at all). After much "horse trading" between the counsel for the airfield owners and EDDC's barrister, a form of words were drafted as an addendum to the NAO which will be included in a new "NAO with variations" that EDDC will now serve on the airfield landowners. The draft variations are:
The NAO stands but will be varied by two schedules, (a) and (b) which come into effect August 20, 2009:
(a) Motor car or motor cycle sports events and testing involving one or more vehicles will be allowed to take place on the airfield between 9am and 4pm on no more than 7 days in each calendar year which must not be Sundays or public holidays, with a minimum respite period between each event of not less than 30 days. Of the 7 days (maximum) of motor car and motor cycle events, 3 may be "stages rallies" and of these three, 2 may be held on Sundays.
(b) Other vehicular events that take place on the airfield but do not involve "vehicles racing at speed" are not subject to the NAO. (The list of such events to include driver training, microlights, powered/towed hangliders, model aircraft flying, vintage vehicle shows)
These words have been checked with EDDC but we must wait for the amended NAO that EDDC will serve on the airfield owners in due course to be sure of the actual words used. It is understood that this may take a few weeks. This is a good result since it returns the level of motor sports on the airfield to that which took place prior to the airfield being split into separate lots at auction in 2006. Notes taken during the Appeal Hearing can be read on this website at Notes from NAO Appeal Hearing
Thank you to all who have helped bring this about and especially those who gave evidence to the court.
August 9, 2009 - Blackdown Hills Position Statement on Noise Pollutiion. The August 2009 issue of View From the Blackdowns has a two page centre spread "Blackdown Hills AONB, a review of 2008/9" in which it is announced that the AONB partnership have "developed a Position Statement to help protect one of the AONB's special qualities: tranquility". The full Position Statement has been added to this website at AONB Position Statement on Noise Pollution
July 31, 2009 - Modified Mania disturbed many people last Sunday (July 27), not only noise from their PA system and cars but also from noisy vehicles speeding through the village and making turns at various junctions from 6.45am. Looking at the event photos now on line at http://www.modifiedcars.com/car-show/2009/Modified_Mania/ it looks like a rather shabby event with the emphasis being on half dressed women rather than cars. Unfortunately they are already advertising the 2010 event as being at the banger stadium on July 25, 2010.
July 16, 2009 - More alcohol sales - MDDC and Devon & Cornwall Police have approved TEN licenses for another two days of alcohol sales at Banger Stadium races - Saturday August 1st, when alcohol will be on sale until 11.45pm and Sunday August 2nd when alcohol will be on sale 11am to 6pm. Since it is now clear that the stadium owners intend to sell alcohol at every event and MDDC and Devon & Cornwall Police see no problem in this, all TEN licenses will in future be recorded on the What happens on Smeatharpe airfield today page and not reported separately here on the Latest News page. What do you think? Is it appropriate for alcohol to be freely on sale at banger racing events which spectators and participants have to drive to? - Send your views to our.aonb@googlemail.com
July 8, 2009 - Alcohol on sale at Banger Stadium. ANNB have discovered that the stadium had another four TEN licenses this year to sell alcohol during banger race events on Feb 8, Feb 22, March 22 and May 25. The licenses do not show up on MDDC's license register because the stadium's owners sent these four TEN applications to EDDC who processed them despite the stadium being in Mid Devon!. The EDDC license register also shows that 9 TEN licenses were approved by EDDC for the stadium during 2008. EDDC TEN applications go to D&C Police at Exmouth whereas MDDC TEN applications go to D&C Police at Tiverton for approval. Bearing in mind that neighbours and other members of the public cannot object to a TEN (only the police can object), neither police licensing office have hitherto known how many TEN's the stadium had applied for in total. They have infact had TEN licenses to sell alcohol for 6 out of the 9 banger race events held so far this year, and have TEN's approved by MDDC for the next two race meetings, July 8 and July 19. What do you think? Is it appropriate for alcohol to be freely on sale at banger racing events which spectators and participants have to drive to? - Send your views to our.aonb@googlemail.com (NB The OS map of Smeatharpe clearly shows that ALL of the banger stadium land is in Mid Devon and none is in East Devon see http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=318190&Y=109970 - Zoom in until you see the dashed boundary line)
July 7, 2009 - Alcohol on sale at Banger Stadium. A TEN (Temporary Event Notice) license to sell alcohol was made to MDDC for the last banger race event on June 21. ANNB have discovered that applications have also been made to MDDC for TEN licenses allowing alcohol to be sold at the next two banger race events at the stadium, July 8 (evening banger racing!) and July 19, both of which have been approved by MDDC. Prior to June 21, 2009, the last license to serve alcohol during banger racing events at the stadium was obtained in August 2007. The MDDC License Register can be viewed on line at MDDC License Register Could this be the start of "drinking and driving" at the banger stadium? What do you think? - Send your views to our.aonb@googlemail.com .
July 6, 2009 - Bournemouth Car Club's Three Counties Rally got off to an early start at 6am on Sunday June 28th. There was a light wind was from the south east on the day so residents to the north and east of the airfield would have suffered worst from the engine and exhaust noise. The event seemed to finish early at around 3pm, and like last year many cars were parked on the roads around the perimeter of the airfield.
June 26, 2009 - Bournemouth Car Club - Three Counties Rally, Sunday June 28. The BCC website has now announced that 70 cars will be participating in the Rally on Sunday (Not counting spectators). The website says that this is the maximum number of participants allowed, so it looks like we will hear the sound of cars racing all day.
June 9, 2009 - Bournemouth Car Club will be using Smeatharpe Airfield on Sunday June 28th for a "Three Counties Rally" This is a repeat of the event they ran on Sunday June 29th last year when cars started racing at 5.45am. According to their website (http://www.bdcc.org.uk/three%20counties%20stages.html) 54 cars (at last count) will be racing on the 28th and they are likely to be as noisy as they were last year. It is understood that EDDC will be monitoring the event, but if you are disturbed by this event you should call EDDC "out of hours number" on 01395 516854 01395 516854 and/or MDDC "out of hours number" on 01884 255255 01884 255255 on the day and insist that your call is logged. Remember that the Noise Abatement Order on the airfield remains suspended until the landowners appeal is determined at Honiton Magistrates Court in August. Complaints registered about this event could therefore be important in demonstrating that although Streetwars have packed up, the airfield is still being used for noisy motorsports events.
June 1, 2009 - A new "trial date" of August 19 & 20 at Honiton Magistrates Court has been set to hear the appeal by Smeatharpe Airfield landowners against the Noise Abatement Notice placed on Smeatharpe Airfield last year by EDDC. This is as a result of a meeting between EDDC's legal council, the landowners legal council and the court on May 7. Despite being required to provide details of their appeal to EDDC by February 4 no basis for the appeal has been forthcoming until this meeting on May 7 when two brief statements from the landowners were provided to EDDC.
April 13, 2009 - Vandalism and abusive behaviour at Bank Holiday Monday banger racing. Contrary to the "family entertainment" image of banger racing at Smeatharpe banger stadium portrayed by Mr Rosevear and Mr Carter in their letter to View From the Blackdowns in December 2008, Mr Rosevear and Mr Carter (Directors of Purple 10 Ltd, the stadiums owner operators) had a near riot on there hands on Monday April 13 caused by people involved in the Banger racing event. Today, (April 16) the Autospeed website have put the following entry on their news page and banned all racing of Bangers (Bangerstox) for the foreseeable future. The text of their news item is as follows:"Autospeed have regrettably taken the unprecedented step of suspending racing for Bangers (formerly Bangerstox) for the forseeable future. Note this does not effect the National Banger fixtures. At Smeatharpe on Easter Monday 13 April, there was disruptive, abusive and threatening behaviour from personnel connected with the Bangers class. This included verbal threats aimed at Autospeed staff, with the express insistence that there would be damage caused to Autospeed property. During the evening of 13 April, there was a break-in at Smeatharpe, which led to widescale vandalism, and theft. Autospeed are asking that the perpetrators of these acts step forward and take responsibility for their actions, and are duly calling on all members of the Bangers community, to help identify who the criminals are. Racing for Bangers, with Autospeed, will now be suspended (the first meeting this affects is 17 May), until such time as those responsible for the vandalism and theft, are identified. The matter is also being dealt with by the Police who have taken evidence and CCTV footage from the track".
Read the news item on the Autospeed website athttp://www.autospeed.co.uk/content/news/important-announcment-bangers-formerly-bangerstox-.ashx
April 2, 2009 - High Court ruling at Croft Circuit. Not sure when it appeared on the savemotorsport website but there is a news item on the site today with the heading "Motorsport events throughout the country could be threatened after a landmark High Court ruling yesterday went against Croft Circuit, near Darlington" In January, the Croft Circuit was given a £860,000 fine for noise pollution in a case brought by a local resident. More information at Croft Ruling. The fact that Mervyn Rundle lists this case on his news page (alongside the Dunkeswell ruling by Judge Farmer) indicates that he considers that it may set a precedent for Dunkeswell & Smeatharpe
March 16, 2009 - Mervyn Rundle, the solicitor working for Nigel Mansell and the Smeatharpe Airfield landowners launched a website (we think in January) called Save Motor Sport (http://www.savemotorsport.co.uk/) which is an attempt to enlist support for motor sports at Dunkeswell and Smeatharpe. If you browse the site you will see that he considers people who object to motorsports in the AONB to be newly arrived townies who object to cockerels crowing and mud on country roads, but nowhere on the site does he mention the continuing attempts by the various motor sports promoters to increase their level of activity at Dunkeswell and Smeatharpe. No further news yet on dates for the noise abatement appeal hearings at Dunkeswell or Smeatharpe. On April 6, Rundle is required to provide EDDC with details of their case for appealing the Smeatharpe Noise Abatement Order, which he should have done prior to February 4 !. It seems likely that Rundle's website was set up to enable him to list the names of supporters as one of the grounds for the appeal.
February 4, 2009 - Noise Abatement Appeal hearing adjourned. The appeal hearing scheduled for February 4&5, brought by Smeatharpe Airfield landowners against the Noise Abatement Notice placed on Smeatharpe Airfield by EDDC has been adjourned. This follows the January 23 appeal decision quashing the Dunkeswell Kart Track Noise Abatement Notice. The Dunkeswell appeal was upheld at Central Devon Magistrates Court but EDDC have subsequently decided to take this case to a Crown Court hearing. Although the Smeatharpe and Dunkeswell Noise Abatement Notices have come about in very different situations, the Dunkeswell case needs to be resolved before the Smeatharpe Noise Abatement Appeal is decided. It may therefore be as long as 6 months before the Smeatharpe Appeal comes to court.
In the meantime the Smeatharpe Noise Abatement Notice remains suspended. In this situation, the limiting factor for motor sports activity on the airfield is likely to become the Single Planning Unit designation placed on the whole airfield (with the exception of the Banger Stadium) last year by EDDC and MDDC (See News entry for Sept 3 2008, below).
On January 4, one of the 14 available race days was used for Enduro motor bike scrambling and on January 30, a car from Dragon Performance Ltd at Dunkeswell was heard doing speed trials on the runways. This leaves 12 race days in 2009 for the airfield and we are not yet into the peak summer period. It is therefore very important that we keep track of all motor sports activity on the airfield and would ask you to email our.aonb@googlemail.com whenever you see or hear motor or motorbike racing/sprinting/trials on the airfield so that the details can re logged. All activity is being logged in theWhat happens on Smeatharpe airfield today section of this website where you can see details of all known and planned motorsport activity, including the Banger Stadium
January 12, 2009 - Purple 10 Ltd have today published their 2009 fixture list for the banger stadium on their website and they have scheduled the maximum 17 events for 2009 with races on every Bank Holiday in the year. (See What happens on Smeatharpe Airfield today ) This means that if they run any practice days not in their fixture list or they run any additional events, they will be in breach of their 2008 CLU approval from MDDC. If you see or hear vehicles racing at the banger stadium on any date additional to those listed below it is therfore important to report it to MDDC Planning Enforcement by sending an email to John Clarke at jclarke@middevon.gov.uk January 6, 2009 - ANNB wish all supporters a quiet 2009. Our letter to View From Publishing has been published in their January issue, page 7 without editorial comment or editing. see http://www.viewfrompublishing.co.uk/vftitles/PDFs/blackdowns.pdf
On Sunday January 4, Enduro motorbike racing took place on the scramble track behind the banger stadium, as advertised on the Internet at http://www.enduronews.com/events.htm East Devon District Council received a number of complaints about the noise produced and they have confirmed that that they have logged the day as one of the 14 permitted motor race days for the airfield (outside of the the banger stadium) now that EDDC and MDDC treat it as one planning unit. If you see or hear motorsports on the airfield, you are encouraged to email details to EDDC's Planning Enforcement Officer, Ray Steer-Kemp ar rsteer-kemp@eastdevon.gov.uk so that the total of race days officially recorded by EDDC can be updated.
December 15, 2008 - View From the Blackdowns. If you have seen the December issue of View from the Blackdowns, you will know that their front page headline in the December issue is a precis of a letter from the operators of Smeatharpe Banger Stadium which attempts to give the impression that the stadium is an asset to the Blackdown Hills AONB. You can read the newspaper on line at: http://www.viewfrompublishing.co.uk/vftitles/PDFs/blackdowns.pdf
ANNB have prepared a reply stating the facts about the planning history of the stadium which can be checked on Mid Devon District Councils planning website, The Land Registry website, Companies House website and in letters received from Planning Officers of Mid Devon District Council. ANNB's reply can be read here: Letter to View From Publishing
You are invited to join ANNB in putting your name to this response, and you can do this simply by sending an email to our.aonb@googlemail.com stating that you agree with what the letter says and that you authorise ANNB to add your name to it. If you know of anyone who also wishes to add their name to the letter but is not on email, please include their name and telephone number with your reply.
In order to get this letter to View From Publishing in time for it to be included in their January issue your email reply must reach us BEFORE DECEMBER 22. In view of this short timescale it will not be possible to make any changes to the letter before sending it, but if you have any questions at all about the facts stated in the letter, do not hesitate to ask in your reply and we will respond to every email received before December 22.
December 9, 2008 - Good News, the planning application from Tom Dunn Tyres to recycle tyres and other waste material at Westerhope Farm, Long Lane, Dunkeswell has been REFUSED by Devon County Council. A big thank you to everyone who objected to the application. We should however remain vigilant to ensure that the planing refusal is respected and that tyre recycling does not simply move somewhere else in the area.
November 8, 2008 - Noise Abatement Notice: The airfield landowners appeal against the Noise Abatement Notice placed on Smeatharpe Airfield by EDDC will be heard at Honiton Magistrates Court on February 4&5, 2009. EDDC remain confident of their case for imposing the noise abatement notice. It seems however that the message that motor sports operating on the airfield without planning permission is not acceptable, has got through to the Streetwars organisation because this week they have posted on their website that they have decided "not to continue with their own events" and have put their timing and other equipment up for sale on their website. Whilst this is indeed good news and means that Streetwars believe that the noise abatement notice and planning unit restriction are not worth fighting, others could decide to buy Streetwars kit and do their own thing.
October 18, 2008 - Tyre trucks: Tom Dunn Tyres have written to Devon County Council with amendments to their waste handling application for Westerhope Farm in Long Lane Dunkeswell. The letter, which is posted on the DCC website at http://www.devon.gov.uk/appref?id=3344&date=2008-09 again states there will be a maximum of 20 truck movements per day. The letter does not however reduce the number of tyres to be processed at the site (24,900 tonnes per annum). EDDC's calculation that this will in fact mean up to 56 truck movements per day through Smeatharpe and Churchstanton therefore still applies. If the application is approved for the proposed 20 truck movements and it turns out to be 56, it will be very difficult for DCC & EDDC to enforce the 20. Objections to the letter amending the planning application can again be made on the above DCC website and need to be made before November 5th. NB The company has been processing tyres at the site without the appropriate planning permission since it moved to Dunkeswell from Trickey Warren, where they were prosecuted by the Environment Agency.
October 7, 2008 - Landowners appeal: The same solicitor who works for the Mansell organisation at Dunkeswell has lodged an appeal against the Noise Abatement Notice on Smeatharpe Airfield. EDDC feel confident that they have a strong case for the Noise Abatement Notice.
Tyre trucks - Articulated lorries carrying tyres to and from a tyre processing company in Dunkeswell have been travelling through Smeatharpe this year on their way to & from the M5 or A303. The operation that generates this traffic, Tom Dunn Tyres, in Long Lane, Dunkeswell has so far been operating without planning permission from an old pig farm. The company, which previously operated at Trickey Warren until they were prosecuted (see http://www.aib.subdivisions.co.uk/?p=2048 ) have now made a waste recycling planning application to Devon County Council. It has been calculated that if this planning application were to be approved then as many as 56 articulated lorries would travel to and from this operation every day, most of them through Smeatharpe (The application claims that there would be 20 movements a day but EDDC have done there own calculations and concluded it would be 56 movements, carrying 24,900 tonnes of tyres per year). The planning application is on line at http://www.devon.gov.uk/appref?id=3344&date=2008-09 on Devon County Councils website where you can also make your views on this application known.
September 23, 2008 - More cancellations: Exeter Motor Club have annouced on their website that they are cancelling their "Smeatharpe Stages Rally" on Saturday October 18 (See Rally cancelled ) They claim this is due to "a combination of circumstances and availability of senior event officers", but we know the real reason!
We may yet have a quiet Autumn, but Bournemouth Car Club are still advertising their rally at Smeatharpe on Saturday October 25. (This was the very noisy outfit last in Smeatharpe on June 29). Please send an email to our.aonb@googlemail.com .if you know of any other planned or cancelled events on the airfield.
September 19, 2008 - Streetwars have today announced on the front page of their website that they are cancelling the rest of their 2008 schedule (October 5 and November 1), due to the noise abatement action and planning unit restrictions imposed by Mid Devon and East Devon District Councils at the beginning of September. See the announcement at Streetwars Cancelled The announcement states that the landowners "will be taking this to court". If they do, then the suitability of activities like Streetwars in the middle of AONB will be given the kind of scrutiny they have so far avoided by operating under permitted development rights (Permitted development rights allow activities like Streetwars to avoid scrutiny by the planning system). If an appeal is submitted details will be published here. Hopefully local residents can now look forward to a quiet Autumn.
September 12, 2008 - The free newspaper, View from the Blackdowns have published in their September issue, on page 15, a letter from William Hunt decrying the space the newspaper devoted to "caravan chaos" at the banger stadium on their "sports page" of the August issue. William rightly points out that people in the Blackdowns are petitioning against the noise pollution from these events and asks the editors to consider dropping such reporting which only serves to antagonise local residents. In reply, the editor says "some people must enjoy it" and asks readers for their views. This is a great opportunity for us to make it clear what residents think about the noise and nuisance from motorsports like "caravan chaos" at the banger stadium in the heart of the AONB. Email your comments to Jackie@pemedia.co.uk or write to The Editor, View From Publishing, Unit 3, St Michaels Business Centre, Church Street, Lyme Regis, DT7 3DB. Letters for publication in the October edition have to arrive by September 24. September 3, 2008 - EDDC and MDDC Take Action! If you complained to EDDC over the last six months about noise from the airfield, it is likely that you have recently received a letter from EDDC Environmental Health confirming that they have issued a noise abatement notice for the airfield referring to nuisance caused by vehicles being driven at speed on the runways. Owners have 28 days to comply, effectively prohibiting motorsports events from the beginning of October. In addition, EDDC and MDDC planning departments have issued notice that the airfield is to be treated as a single planning unit, which means that the whole airfield is allowed a maximum of 14 days for motorsports activity each year. The banger stadium retains its own 17 days for racing the types of vehicles specified in their 17 day CLU as approved by MDDC in April.
A big thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign to reduce noise and nuisance from Smeatharpe Airfield - It just shows that if enough people express their views, action will be taken.
We must not be complacent however - It is understood that there is a right of appeal against both notices and Streetwars are still advertising their next event on the airfield on Oct 5.
Mays Farm: Many people in the area were also disturbed by 24 hour a day noise from a 499 person festival at Mays Farm (just behind the Banger Stadium) over the August Bank Holiday weekend. This event operated under a Temporary Entertainment Notice and was a repeat of the same event in 2007. If you were disturbed by noise from Mays Farm over the Bank Holiday Weekend, please let your views be known to Ian Winter at MDDC Environmental Health (email: iwinter@middevon.gov.uk ) Ian is collecting information about the noise nuisance caused by the event and we are hopeful that action will be taken to prevent a repeat in 2009. Watch this site for more information.
August 31, 2008 - The Motorbike National Sprint Association were racing on the airfield on the Sunday, as forecast in the "What happens on Smeatharpe Airfield today" page, and many people reported being distubed by badly silenced motorbike engines to MDDC and EDDC August 13, 2008 - Lee Child, the owner/operator of Streetwars posted two notices on his website yesterday cancelling the August 16 Saturday evening Streetwars racing AND the Sunday August 17 Streetwars racing. It was clear that the two Saturday evening events he has held at Smeatharpe this year were poorly attended and probably costing him money, but it is a pleasing surprise that he has cancelled Sunday's event. The blog states that it is for reasons "beyond his control" and other people making entries on the blog assume that this means for financial reasons. Lee Child says the next event is October 5, but watch out for additional Streetwars racing in September because the 1/4 versus 1/2 mile poll on their website suggests that two additional race days with 1/2 mile races will be organised in September if enough people want them.
July 9, 2008 - A very noisy Subaru raced around the airfield yesterday between 12.00 and 13.30 with lots of engine noise and very loud backfires. In the evening, the banger track was operating from 18.30 until 22.00 with their floodlights still on at 22.30. EDDC received a number of complaints yesterday about the Subaru and the banger track.
It is understood that EDDC people met with the airfield land owners on Monday July 7 and were told that the land owners will appoint a noise consultant to "come up with a scheme that will allow them to have events whilst not causing a noise nuisance". We will be interested to hear what the consultant proposes.
In case you haven't heard, the Boundary Commission have published their report on a new Unitary structure for Devon. The proposal is to replace the 10 councils in Devon today with three: Plymouth, Torbay, and the rest of Devon. At least all the airfield will be within one Council area as a result of this proposal, but remember, Somerset are not changing their structure at all. Read the full report and make your comments on the proposal at http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/boundary-reviews/all-reviews/south-west/devon before September 26.
July 4, 2008 - EDDC this week mailed special Smeatharpe noise diary sheets to everyone who has complained to them about noise from the airfield, confirming in the covering letter that they are gathering evidence relating to the problem and that they will be monitoring noise levels at the next event they are aware of on Saturday evening and Sunday, July 19&20. If you have not received a noise diary sheet from EDDC, please contact Janet Wallace at EDDC Environmental Health Department on 01395 517457 01395 517457 or Email: jwallace@eastdevon.gov.uk The banger stadium will be operating Tuesday evening July 8 from 7.30pm and on Sunday July20
July 2, 2008 - Bournemouth car club were back on Sunday June 29 and lived up to their reputation from March 2, starting their noisy activities on the airfield at 5.45am on the Sunday morning and continueing throughout the day. Many people rightly complained to EDDC and MDDC. EDDC environmental health officer Andrew Ennis who came to Smeatharpe to see for himself and take noise measurements said the noise was as bad as the noise levels from the Mansel Kart Track at Dunkeswell. We do not know of any events on the airfield until Streeetwars on Saturday July 19 and Sunday July 20, but if you see or hear any activity over the next couple of weekends, please let us know at our.aonb@googlemail.com .
June 23, 2008 - After a noisy Sunday from motor bike sprinting on June 22, the next event on the airfield is Sunday June 29, when Bournemouth Car Club are back. They were extremely noise when they last used the airfield on March 2, so be prepared to call EDDC and MDDC out of hours numbers if they disturb you.
June 19, 2008 - On June 7 & 8, the wind on both days was from the north. This meant that noise from Streetwars and the banger stadium, which was also operating on June 8 was worst for those people living to the south of the airfield. The Streetwars events on both days were not well attended, perhaps because football and Lewis Hamilton on TV kept people at home. The poor attendance has been noted on Streetwars' website and in response the operator is suggesting he will increase the track length from one eighth of a mile to a quarter mile, which means higher speeds and hence increased engine and tyre noise. The next Streetwars event is July 19&20 (another Saturday night and Sunday combination). The next events on the airfield are on Sunday June 22 when the National Motorbike Sprint Association will be racing motorbikes and the banger stadium will also be operating. No news yet on MDDC and EDDC's deliberations on the legality of the planning unit.
May 24, 2008 - The Streetwars website is advertising June 7 as their first ever Saturday Street Night at Smeatharpe, from 2pm to 9pm, followed by a Sunday Streetwars on June 8. Their new for 2008 "handliing circuit" will also be adding to the noise on both days and in an effort to get more punters in they are even running a "Saturday Street nights bikini babe contest". This could mean more tannoy noise along with tyre and engine noise. Be ready to call the MDDC and EDDC out of hours numbers! (Details on the Useful Contacts page)
May 21, 2008 - EDDC and MDDC Legal departments are still considering the legality of the airfield planning unit. It is believed that legal experts in the two Councils have differing opinions. This has to be resolved and a report made back to EDDC Chief Exec Mark Williams but no indication yet as to when. Watch this page for further information.
May 9, 2008 - Further information obtained about Streetwars attempts to operate at Henstridge Airfield in 2006 obtained. Streetwars could not supply the level of Public Liability Insurance that the airfield operator required and were asked to leave. If an injury occurs to a member of the public and Streetwars do not have sufficient insurance cover, the landowners become liable.
May 1, 2008 - Following the April 24 meeting within East Devon District Council, the legal departments of both EDDC and MDDC have been asked to decide on the legality of the airfield planning unit and the apparent pooling of 3 or 4 sets of 14 days of motorsports, operating under General Permitted Development Rights. Responses from the two legal departments are currently awaited .
April 24, 2008 - Mark Williams, Chief Executive of East Devon District Council calls Planning Enforcement, Environmental Health and Legal Services to a meeting to review possible actions to contain the growth of motor sports on Smeatharpe Airfield.
April 18, 2008 - Local residents form Action on Noise and Nuisance in the Blackdowns - Watch this website for news of activities you can participate in to get unwanted motorsports stopped
April 13, 2008 - Streetwars had to eject 30 spectators from their racing event because people waiting to have their turn on the runways decided to start racing and doing handbrake turns in the car park. One car doing "donuts" caused a white Polo to hit the event organiser. One spectator writes that "My wife had to grab my son out of the way several times as the amateur drivers got closer to where we stood in the car park"
April 13, 2008 - Paul Diviani, Chairman of East Devon District Council and the Blackdown Hills partnership to hear the noise from Streetwars and banger racing for himself. Whilst talking to residents outside the Old Kings Arms in Smeatharpe he had to stop talking several times because residents standing next to him could not hear what he was saying.
April 13, 2008 - EDDC and MDDC both run official noise monitoring of Streetwars and banger racing from their respective sides of the "border". Believed to be something of a first, the two Councils will share/pool their noise monitoring data.
April 7, 2008 - MDDC approves Purple 10 Ltd's CLU application to increase number of banger racing days in 2008 and beyond. Approval for 17 days racing of specified vehicles is given for the calendar year 2008, but Purple 10 Ltd tell MDDC that they do not believe this restrictive approval is enforceable. Purple 10's website already has 17 race days published for 2008 but on Good Friday, bangers were racing around the stadium on a "practice day". This means that they are already planning 18 days of racing (at least) for 2008 and to breach the CLU restriction.
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