Rural racetrack in Warwickshire will now be allowed to accommodate caravans and motorhomes

Despite objections by some residents, permission has also been granted for improvements already carried out at the Nemo Raceway, which is considered to be one of the best in the world by radio controlled car enthusiasts

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A rural Warwickshire racetrack considered to be one of the best in the world by radio controlled car enthusiasts will now be able to accommodate drivers in their caravans and motorhomes during weekend meetings.

Permission was also granted for improvements already carried out at the circuit near Bishop’s Itchington including a catering facility, toilet block, race control/offices and a winner’s rostrum.

But the plans were challenged by some local residents, the parish council and district councillor representing the area who said the meetings at Nemo Raceway, in Knightcote, brought traffic issues and problems with noise.

One neighbour said that the track’s PA system meant he could sit in his garden and know the names of drivers and their times while another objector said the cars sounded like angry wasps having a strimmer fight.

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The plans were discussed at this week’s [WED] meeting of Stratford District Council’s planning committee when Cllr Chris Kettle (Con, Bishops Itchington) said the nature of the operation had changed dramatically over the years from being a hobby club for local children to a business with catering and retail outlets.

He said: “This self-contained site was developed during the Covid lockdown when there was a considerable amount of work done by people who did not live locally, travelling up during lockdown which I think demonstrates the tenure of the people we are talking about.

“This application brings no real economic, social or environmental benefits to Stratford district. At the last event there were more than 100 vehicles on site and 43 caravans which were parked on a field. If there was a benefit to the local economy and this was a sustainable site then I would have no problem.”

But applicant Jon Hazlewood argued that the area did benefit from events, adding that his business had been battling against a campaign of bullying and lies.

He told the meeting: “We are not the big bad wolf here, this is radio controlled car racing where families come along and have a jolly good time.

"We are not Silverstone and we are not racing F1 cars.

“We put a lot into the local economy - about £100 per day per participant from pubs in Gaydon and the fish and chip shop in Bishops Itchington to b&bs and Air b&bs.

“I’m a bit lost for words because I hear what are actually lies. We have been bullied and I’m sure they thought we were just going to roll over and they have picked on the wrong person because we are doing nothing wrong.”

Planning committee members approved the applications with Cllr Matt Jennings (Con Henley) adding: “I don’t think we should be restricting the growth of existing business owners to improve their business and make them more successful. With the amount of people this brings in they all have to eat, drink and sleep somewhere so that must benefit the local economy.”