MORE than 1,500 people have signed a petition calling for council chiefs to back down over the controversial row with Grimley raceway.
Campaigners fighting tooth and nail to keep the venue open say it will be “an absolute travesty” if the site is forced to shut its doors due to a noise dispute.
As the Worcester News reported earlier this month the track, which attracts people from all over Britain, is in grave danger after being slapped with a court injunction over “excessive noise”.
Malvern Hills District Council says the track, renowned for its stock and banger car racing, needs to take measures to quieten down.
As of yesterday an online petition had soared to 1,557 signatures in just three weeks.
People say they would be left devastated if the track cannot reopen in time for the racing season in March.
One of the backers, Christine Brown, of Worcester, said: “We raced on it ourselves back in the 1980s – until this day we still go to Grimley with the grandkids.”
Lisa Wilkes, from Dudley in the Black Country also signed it, saying: “I want to petition to keep Grimley raceway open, because it deserves to stay.”
Neil Edwin, who is in his 50s and lives in Birmingham, said: “I raced there when I was in my early 20s, and I still go there to this day to watch.”
Another backer, Peter Clancy, aged 71, has told this newspaper he has been visiting the racetrack for years.
“It has been here a very long time, and for most of the year nothing actually goes on whatsoever,” he said.
“There are 14 weekends when it has racing, and that is it – how anyone can take issue with that is beyond me.”
The organisers say they are aiming to reach 2,000 signatures before giving it to the district council.
Chris Parry, a track racer and Marshall, said: “The track has played a huge part of the lives of generations of racers and spectators – the council needs to consider the wider implications of their pursuance of this court case.”
A spokesman for the district council has insisted there is “no reason” why the track cannot be open in time for March if additional noise measures are taken.
He said: “We have a legal responsibility to protect our residents from excessive noise. “If noise reduction measures are implemented, in line with the order then there is no reason why racing cannot continue at the site.”
The matter is expected to return to court next month where the interim injunction could become permanent.
The racing season run from March to October, and the track managed to complete its fixtures this year before being slapped with the injunction.
The attraction, a former gravel pit, dates back to 1962.
Source: Worcester News, to read more click here.