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Elvington Airfield bosses fined over noise
THE owners of a York airfield must pay £25,000 for “blighting” the lives of residents nearby with noise from motor sports, a district judge has ruled.
Witnesses said they could not hear themselves talk in their own gardens and had to stop what they were doing inside because they could not concentrate.
Airfield owners Elvington Park Ltd, Elvington Events Ltd, which hold a licence to organise activites on the airfield, and the company secretary and sole director of both companies, John Christopher Hudson, claimed the noise from motor races was not a nuisance and said that, even if it was, they were not responsible because the races were organised by Auto 66 and planning permission allowed them to hold motor sports on the airifield.
But district judge John Foster rejected their claims.
“Noise such as described to me on the days in question has blighted the lives of those who live in the locality to a very considerable degree,” he said, giving his reserved judgement at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
“The noise was extremely intrusive and... was causing huge disruption to the enjoyment of that area by the inhabitants.”
He convicted the defendants of two counts each of breaking a noise abatement notice ordering them to keep the noise down on August 7 and October 16 last year.
Both companies, of Halifax Way, Pocklington Industrial Estate, and Hudson, 63, of Main Street, Sutton-on-Derwent, had denied all charges.
They were fined a total of £10,500, plus £45 victim surcharge, plus £14,500 towards the costs of City of York Council, which brought the case.
It was the latest in a series of court battles between the council and the companies.
The judge said relations were in part in “total disharmony” and that some efforts by the defendants were “window dressing” rather than genuine attempts at resolution.
They needed to put in more financial resources and seek expert advice, he said.
For the defendants, Thomas Ledden said racing at the airfield had reduced considerably.
Though there had been races on other days last year, the noise abatement order had not been broken on other occasions, said Mr Ledden.
He said the companies had a noise management plan that they drew up voluntarily, and they had no other convictions.
The defendants have yet to decide whether to appeal.
Anthony Dean, the city council’s principal environmental protection officer, welcomed the guilty verdicts.
He said the council would continue to respond to residents’ complaints.