Our tiny village of Marsh Green, Devon, (our postcode EX5 2ES) which has approx 40 houses, is having to endure the unacceptable use of an agricultural field which has been turned into a Motocross Track almost every weekend particularly during the summer. A Retrospective Planning Application was submitted to East Devon District Council about 5 years ago for use by friends and family only and this and a subsequent appeal was turned down as the facilities and location were unsuitable. The field has been turned into a proper motocross track with jumps etc. and can no longer be used for agriculture and this can be easily viewed on Google Earth. It is ridiculous having been refused permission (it was already being used in any event before the retrospective application was made). It now appears to be used for business purposes ie motocross clubs and having had a meeting with East Devon DC Chief Exec recently they said their hands are tied because current legislation allows any use including business for 14 days a year and there is also no restriction on the number of hours that it can be used on those days ie on a Sunday we endure it from around 10.30 am until 7.30 pm during the summer. The 14 days are always exceeded during the year and the Council do not appear to have anyway of monitoring this use or the resources to manage it although we can phone up and complain to an emergency noise polution line which residents do regularly. We feel that the law appears to be an ass in this case and should be repealed extremely quickly as the Chief Exec said during our meeting that there are other land owners taking advantage of this rule to use their land for all sorts of activities and he quoted a case of a Golf Course for example and what is more worrying is that if this carries on for 10 years they could possibly say that they have use granted permanently on the basis of the 10 year rule. A petition has been organised by one of my neighbours conbtaining around 50 signatures which is going to be given to our Parish Council and we intend sending Hugo Swyre our MP a copy in the hope that he can also take up our case. We await to hear from you.
Why does this idea matter?
Because it affects the whole country and there is obviously a flaw in the current law which can lead to unnecessary abuse and in our case and no doubt in many others it is causing serious interruption of our enjoyment of the place we live in. Agricultural land should be used for agriculture.