Croft motor racing circuit is ordered to pay £850k in costs and damages
27 January 2009

The owners of the Croft motor racing circuit have been ordered by the High Court to pay almost £150k in damages in a ruling that could threaten the future of the Darlington circuit.

Croft Promosport, the company that runs the historic circuit, were ordered to pay the damages to Derek and Julia Watson and their daughter Jill in April last year for ‘loud, intrusive and repetitive noise.’

Circuit bosses challenged the decision, but yesterday lost the court battle and will now have to pay more than £850k in damages and legal fees.

Croft circuit, which hosts several major motorsport events, including the British Touring Car Championship and the British Superbike Championship, will now be restricted to hosting no more than 40 days of “noisy activities” per year, jeopardising the circuit’s lucrative track day market.

The victorious local residents have said that they do not wish the circuit to close, but object to the vehicle testing days and track days.

The ruling also prevents Croft Promosport from making a further appeal to the House of Lords, and may now leave the company exposed to further claims from affected local residents.

There is growing concern that the High Court ruling could also affect the development of Donington Park, as local councillors fear noise pollution may become an issue at the site. The circuit, which is due to host the British Grand Prix in 2010, is scheduled to undergo a £100m redevelopment to improve facilities.

George Barrow

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