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Stock car racing track near Manston refused by government planners

A controversial plan for a stock car racing circuit has been turned down on appeal by government planners.

Applicants Ovalsport had wanted to change the use of the land at the Manston Raceway in Sevenscore from a go-kart track to allow for racing stock cars with temporary structures providing toilets, refreshments, commentary box, race office and an entrance kiosk.

The proposed site of the stock car racing track (22794962)
The proposed site of the stock car racing track (22794962)

They say the track would be used by 30 cars on an oval circuit on a maximum of 30 days per year on Sundays and bank holiday Mondays between March and October.

The plan, which was submitted to Thanet council earlier this year, divided opinion, with some warning it would "cause havoc" for neighbours, while supporters tipped it as a great day out for families.

Ovalsport submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate after the local authority failed to make a decision by the allocated deadline.

In a statement on its Facebook page this week, the company revealed the government planner had turned it down.

"If we are honest, it was always going that way due to the lack of evidence and information presented to the Inspectorate by us and without going into it to much, it couldn't be helped within the time constraints.

'Is the decision the correct one? Yes, due to the lack of information and evidence presented' -Ovalsport

"However we know where we failed and we are now liaising with the correct people and now have the correct facts.

"Our consultants will be on this and in 22 days the process will start again."

Ovalsport says it is a unique application within the district and many people don't understand it.

"Is the decision the correct one? Yes, due to the lack of information and evidence presented.

"We now know exactly what needs to be changed and the correct information that is needed."

The Planning Inspectorate has turned down plans for a stock car racing track in Sevenscore in Thanet (22794960)
The Planning Inspectorate has turned down plans for a stock car racing track in Sevenscore in Thanet (22794960)

The consultation by Thanet council showed public support outweighed opposition, with 56 supporting the proposal and 37 against.

But the Planning Inspectorate turned it down on a number of grounds including the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area, the impact on living conditions of neighbours, in particular the noise, and the effect on biodiversity.

Cllr Penny Gimes, chair of Minster Parish Council, which objected to the plans, says she is confident the right decision was made.

"The parish council did object to the planned stock car racing track as we had serious concerns about the detrimental effect on the lives of the nearby residents, the potential damage to the environment and the rail and road safety factors," she said.

"We understand that many would have welcomed such a leisure facility in Thanet but we do not believe that this is a suitable location."

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