Croft facing closure after appeal loss.

The Croft circuit has lost its appeal against having to pay damages to three people who claim their lives have been affected by 'noise nuisance', leaving its future in jeopardy.

Derek and Julia Watson, together with their daughter Jill Wilson, have lived within 300 metres of the circuit in Dalton-on-Tees for several years, but took a case to the High Court last year claiming to be victims of 'noise nuisance'.

The judge ruled in their favour, ordering the circuit's promoters Corft Promo-Sport Ltd to pay Mr and Mrs Watson £109,600 damages and Mrs Wilson £40,000.

Now, Croft Promo-Sport Ltd have lost their appeal to dismiss the order and have the damages, which include a reported £700,000 bill of legal costs, reduced.

Furthermore, they have been slapped with an additional injunction to limit activities to 40 days a year. Currently, Croft, which hosts British Superbike and British Touring car events is active between 45 and 50 days a year.

According to the Northern Echo newspaper, Richard Jones QC argued that the circuit had 'changed the character' of the area to such an extent that the noise levels were reasonable.

However, Appeal Court judge Sir Andrew Morritt claimed he could find no legal flaw in the original ruling that the Watsons and Mrs Wilson had suffered an 'actionable nuisance'. He went on to claim it was 'illogical' the injunction of 40 days hadn't been installed.

While the Watsons and Mrs Wilson insist they didn't have an issue with the large events that take place, they were against the public track days that take place at other times of the year.

Refused the opportunity to appeal to the House of Lords, Croft has also been ordered to pay £120,000 of legal costs straight away.

The QC went on to claim it is worried this ruling will raise a serious precedent for other circuits around the country, with neighbouring landowners potentially being prompted into action against noise pollution.

It remains to be seen whether the large legal bills Croft faces means it will be able to stave off closure.

Related Pictures

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BSB Croft. Race 1.
Jake Dixon, RAF Reserves Kawasaki [Credit: MSV BSB Media]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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Roundy Ktm - Unregistered

January 26, 2009 2:55 PM

this is absolutely ridiculous. when i first heard about this story i couldnt believe what i was reading and now they have been force to pay out im outraged. if they dont like the noise, bloody move!!! the circuit has been there since the war....they should be ashamed! anything for a quick buck in this country nowadays, i wouldnt give em a bloody penny!!! and to think croft brings in thousands of people to the area evry year, a contributes a significanty to the economy of the local area, even the county. disgusted by the resident, truely disgusted. its a good job i dnt know exactly where they live because there would be some more noise coming their way....

Joe - Unregistered

January 26, 2009 4:46 PM

How can a judge rule in favour of people moving in after the circuit is already there? Surely it's up to these imbeciles to decide if they like the area before they move in? This kind of thing should be laughed out of court... We've absolutely ruined this country with this compensation culture....

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