Dunsfold Liaison Group - Friday, 12th August, 2016 10.00 am

Proposed venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming. View directions

Contact: Gary Wood  Trainee Democratic Services Officer

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Brian Ellis, Patricia Ellis and Kevin Deanus.




Elizabeth Sims, Head of Planning Services, reiterated that the purpose of the Dunsfold Liaison Group was to allow officers and representatives of Dunsfold Park to meet and discuss planning and environmental health enforcement matters. The meeting was not a decision taking meeting and, as such, not subject to the notice, public attendance or minute taking requirements of decision taking meetings. However, in the view of transparency, notes of meetings are made available to the public online within 15 working days of each meeting taking place.


Although part of the Group’s remit was to discuss the discharging of planning conditions, it was not to discuss the merits or not of specific past, current or future planning applications.


There were no points made regarding the last meeting held on 8 April 2016.




Victoria Choularton, Senior Planning Enforcement Officer, summarised the list of planned temporary events held at Dunsfold Park in 2016 as part of its usage of its 28 annual Permitted Development Day allowance. These allow events to take place without any additional planning permissions being required. Under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 Part 4, only 14 of those 28 days may be used for motor racing events. Each individual day of an event taking place under PD rights is counted towards the 28 day limit.


A total of 4 events had been planned so far for 2016 using 6 PD  days as follows:


·        1 day filming event on 7 May 2016.

·        1 day Lotus 7 Handling event on 21 May 2016.

·        2 day Supercar Event on 2 and 3 July 2016.

·        2 day Wings & Wheels on 27 and 28 August 2016.


22 days of PD rights remain of which 14 [JM1] may be used for motor racing.


Motor racing has been defined as quite distinct from events where motor cars just happen to be present. None of the events listed had an motor racing element as opposed to just events with cars doing displays.


 [JM1]We have agreed the definition of ‘Motor Racing’ before as being quite distinct from events where motor cars are present. For full record of that dialogue see previous Liaison Group minutes. None of these events had any Motor Racing element, as opposed to just events with cars doing displays etc




Victoria Choularton, Senior Planning Enforcement Officer, went on to introduce details of recent planning complaints.


Two complaints were received in relation to the granting of permission for the Top Gear track to be extended for a temporary period to 31 December 2016 for the outdoor filming of motor vehicles. The complainants were concerned that the extension of the track would increase noise disturbance. No further action was taken as planning permission was granted under WA/2016/1030  for the extension to the track.


On 8 June 2016, Dunsfold Park informed Waverley that an Aston Martin Vulcan was being filmed by the BBC that morning but that it was very loud so their acoustician had advised that the cease. A full investigation was carried out by Planning Enforcement and Environmental Health into what had happened. Dunsfold Park advised that, although they had agreed for the vehicle to make 2 fast laps of the track, the requirement for extra laps for the warming up of the car prior to filming had not been properly anticipated. The noise was of such a short duration that there had been no statutory nuisance, and no consequent further action would be taken. Jamie McAllister advised the Group that the BBC had not provided them with an accurate briefing regarding the filming. He also advised that the BBC had apologised to them for the unhelpful remarks regarding the loudness of the Aston Martin Vulcan made by the presenter prior to the segment on the episode of Top Gear in which the filming was broadcast.


A complaint had been received regarding the removal, renewing and re-routing of pipework, cabling and moving of portacabins on the site; however, these activities had taken place under permitted development rights and therefore no action was taken.


Finally, a complaint had been received regarding HGV use of a bridleway.  Dunsfold Park were informed and they confirmed they would request that lorry drivers use the correct entrance. It was agreed this appeared to be a singular complaint and could be due to misguided direction of a sat nav.


It was noted that the filming event which took place on 7 May 2016 under PD rights had not been in relation to Top Gear which has its own permanent permission to 2018.Victoria confirmed that this date will be checked and will reconfirm to Dunsfold Park Limited whether it should be on the event list.




Gisella de Genaro, Senior Environmental Health Officer, informed the Group of the complaints that had been received since the last meeting.


The first was received on 11 April 2016 in relation to concern about the Top Gear track being extended and the possibility of noise disturbance. The complainant was asked for their permission to have noise monitoring equipment installed prior to the first use of the track on 19 May. However, the complainant refused this so no data could be gathered to assess this. The application that granted the temporary extension to the track had collected data in order to comment on the application. The data from monitoring points A and G showed that the current planning conditions would not be breached. As a result, Environmental Health did not raise any objections.


The second complaint related to cars allegedly screeching around the track on Monday 9 May 2016. A message had been taken and passed to an officer who rang the complainant back. A message to contact Environmental Health was left. This was followed by a further call and an email over the next couple of weeks but no response was received. As there was no contact, no further action was taken.


Gisella also mentioned the Aston Martin Vulcan incident discussed earlier.


Elizabeth pointed out the importance of local residents being encouraged to complete the online complaint reporting form if they had concerns. The complaints described could not be pursued because the complainants either did not respond to the Council or would allow it to install noise monitoring equipment. This data was required in order that any action, if justified, could be taken. Residents need to be willing to help the Council gather that data and to pursue complaints all the way to conclusion. Members also noted the importance of passing information on to residents about action taken in response to complaints in order that belief in the credibility of the complaints system be maintained.


Members asked Gisella about the noise monitoring equipment and how it worked. She responded that a modern system that recorded decibel levels constantly was used and that from this data, a week long trace could be extracted.


The units also featured a button that when pressed, record 1 minute of audio. Complainants are asked to press the button whenever noise reached a loud level. This recording would act as a snapshot and allow officers to consider whether, along with volume, frequency, duration, type etc., it would constitute a nuisance. Gisella explained that the system can  be used both indoors and outdoors and is calibrated in such a way that the noise recorded could be recreated at exactly same level the complainants had originally heard it.


Councillor Seaborne asked why the system did not record audio constantly and it was explained that this was due to privacy concerns that 24/7 recording would capture all goings on in a residence.


It was agreed that Councillor Seaborne would speak to Gisella outside of the meeting to discuss the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.




Peter Cleveland, Development Control Manager, updated the Group on recent planning applications on the site.


WA/2016/2030 – Temporary extension to the Top Gear track to 31 Dec 2016 had been granted earlier in the year.


WA/2016/0634 – Variation of conditions of WA/2015/0695 to allow increase in floor area and D1 use class. This was granted by the Eastern Area Planning Committee on Wednesday 10 August 2016.


WA/2015/2395 – New settlement application. Peter informed the Group that the applicant will be providing the Council with the additional information in response to comments received during the public consultation from residents, Natural England, Highways and the Environment Agency by 26 August 2016. Following receipt, this further information would be made available online early September. A second consultation period would begin at this time and the expectation was that the application would go to committee in late October or early November 2016.


It was agreed that Peter would provide local Members with a full briefing on the new information once it has been received.


Victoria Choularton then informed the Group about the latest traffic movement figures. The data show that at no time since the last meeting has the 2,723 daily cap on vehicle movements been breached.


Members noted that there was no data for the Compass Gate access between 1 May and 21 June 2016. Gerry Forristal explained that this was due to the removal of the old laser based vehicle counting system and the installation of a new system. There were still vehicle movements during this time at the Compass Gate.


Gerry Forristal advised the Group that the split HGV/car data was now being recorded in order to comply with the 2016 condition. The equipment began working on 22 June 2016, captures data on an hourly basis and the first dataset will be downloaded in next few months. Officers reminded Dunsfold Park that it is also very important to discharge the requirements of the original, overarching 2007 condition as well as the new 2016 condition. Elizabeth confirmed that the Council will be sending Dunsfold Park a letter advising this in writing shortly.


Councillor Maurice Byham and Councillor Richard Seaborne added that the provision of the split data could help alleviate the concerns of residents in Bramley that the majority of HGV traffic passing through the village is not from Dunsfold Park. Members asked that data from the new system be made public as soon as possible. The condition requires 6 monthly reporting but Members asked whether some data could be made public early. Jamie and Gerry confirmed that they would consider this.


Jamie pointed out that traffic movements generated were still low compared to levels historically when British Aerospace operated the site. Jamie asked as to whether there had ever been any complaints about traffic, as Dunsfold Park did not know of any and he wanted to know if there was an issue of which he should be aware.; asking about the types of local traffic issues residents were highlighting, Councillor John  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.




It was agreed that the next meeting would take place in November 2016 with an exact date and time to be confirmed.