Goodwood seeks permanent change to its motor circuit

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ONE of Chichester’s most successful tourism hot spots is applying to make permanent changes to extend the use of a famous circuit.

The changes to Goodwood Motor Circuit, which have prompted mixed feelings from residents in the area, were given a three-year trial period in 2010 so the effects could be monitored.

Outlined in plans to revise the terms of operation are the allowance of ten hours of high-speed racing on historic race days and use of the circuit for road-speed driving for a maximum of ten Sundays a year.

The revised terms also include the removal of the limit on the number of vehicles using the track at any one time, and more self-policing of noise levels by Goodwood Road Racing Company.

There will be 49 silent days every year, including Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and no plans to introduce more large-scale events such as Goodwood Revival.

However, the application has prompted a number of objections from residents in the area.

Commenting on the application, John Fielding, a resident of Maplehurst Road, Chichester, said: “If the choice is between a permanent permission and a periodically-renewed temporary permission, then I would prefer the latter. Perhaps ‘saving the planet’ may be a valid reason for refusal at some time in the future.”

Andrew Vanieris described the noise level during the week as ‘great’, but said he wouldn’t ‘tolerate’ the noise on a Sunday.

Mr and Mrs Cole said the noise was, at times, ‘painfully loud’, and they had been forced to invest in noise measurement and recording equipment.

Another objection letter from a Maplehurst Road resident said: “Goodwood continues to impose itself on the local community, creating unnecessary and unwelcome noise that has significant amenity, health and wellbeing issues for local residents, and is detrimental to the local environment.”

She also claimed traffic was magnified to an ‘obstructive’ level during the periods the circuit was being used intensively.

However, a number of Goodwood supporters said the circuit encouraged tourism and visitors which were vital to the development of the area.

Sue Baker, who lives in Parklands, near Chichester, said she ‘liked’ hearing the sound of cars when the wind blew.

“What people seem to forget is the airfield and the racecourse were there before they built most of the houses in Summersdale, so I say up with the car racing.”

Lavant resident Alan Smith wrote in support of the application.

“The activities are an essential contributor to the cost of running the entire Godwood Esate which attracts international as well as local attendance, providing direct and indirect employment within the local community,” he said.

The application is currently under consideration.