Paul Bird has slammed the decision to award compensation to three local residents of the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire, one that puts future use of the venue in serious doubt.

Speaking after winning the Jack Frost rally stages at the circuit - potentially the final event to be hosted there -, the Kawasaki World Superbike team principal has criticised a ruling at the High Court that saw a family of three given ?150,000 as compensation for 'noise pollution'.

Claiming that is sets a nasty precedent for other circuits to be sued by neighbouring residents who move near to the venue, Bird was one of several people to voice their immense disappointment at the decision.

"This can't be allowed to happen and we will do whatever we can in our power to stop these people" Bird said. "This place was here long before them and if they don't like it, they should move."

Pointing out that the family, who live around 300 metres from the circuit, moved there due to a former relative gaining employment at Croft, event sponsor Larry Carter is hopeful their appeal will be successful.

"How can it be that people who have only just moved into the area have the right to close down an historic facility which is so vital to the local economy as well as the tens of thousands of motorsport enthusiasts who rely on Croft for their recreation? Let's hope common sense prevails otherwise the UK could become like Switzerland where motorsport is banned."

With Croft hosting several high profile events over the year, including the British Superbike Championship and the British Touring Car Championship, circuit manager Tracey Morley admits their future looks doubtful if the decision isn't overturned.

"Obviously we are very disappointed with the initial decision and are hoping for a Judge to overturn another Judge's decision. Whether that will happen or not is hard to say but the future is very uncertain at the moment."

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