Stop desecration of the Somerset levels by Motocross

Stop desecration of the Somerset levels by Motocross

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Simon Wagstaff started this petition to Taunton Deane Planning Department

The Somerset Levels are a coastal plain and wetland area of Somerset, England, running south from the Mendips to the Blackdown Hills.

As a result of the wetland nature of the Levels, the area contains a rich biodiversity of national and international importance. It supports a vast variety of plant and bird species and is an important feeding ground for birds and includes 32 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, of which 12 are also Special Protection Areas. The area has been extensively studied for its biodiversity and heritage, and has a growing tourism industry.

A press release from Natural England has recently reclassified the conservation status of the Somerset Levels as "Unfavourable Declining".

Despite the challenges already faced for the future of this unique ecosystem it has been allowed for a Motocross practise track to operate on land designated for agricultural use between Burrowbridge and Othery without planning permission for the last 12 months despite continual objections from local residents and visitors. The council served a 28 day notice on the landowner to apply for planning consent in September 2020 and have continually refused to take action against it. A noise abatement order declaring the track as a statutory noise nuisance has been ignored repeatedly with activity continuing and still no action taken by Taunton Deane Council. MPs have visited the area, expressed concern and still no action is taken by the authorities to suspend this facility until the correct permissions are achieved. The planning application can be found on Taunton Deane Planning portal planning reference 51/21/0001 for further reference.

Noise levels have been measured at @100 dB in local residents properties and complaints have been received from up to 5 miles away therefore affecting a significant proportion of the area. The European designated Somerset Levels and Moors Ramsar and SPA, as well as Somerset Levels NNR and Southlake Moor SSSI occur adjacent to the site (c. 25m south). There are 7 additional national statutory designated sites (SSSIs) within 5km and 3 non-statutory designated sites (LWS) within 2km.  The Ramsar, SPA and SSSI adjacent to site are designated for their diversity of wildfowl, invertebrates and flora.

It is well researched that noise pollution has a significant effect on animal behaviour and welfare in organisms of all species and classification and it is natural to assume that all of these areas will be adversely affected by the Motocross circuit.

OneMX's own ecological report says there is presence locally of several protected species such as bats, water voles, otters and several bird species as well as water beetles and aquatic life and other invertebrates that are already significantly impacted by recent concerns over phosphate levels and silting of the Rhynes. The vast array of flora in the area is also the habitat of some of the rarest bee species in the UK.

An ecosystem as finely balanced as this can be devastated by even the smallest environmental effects and it is critical that for the Somerset Levels best of chance of survival for future generations of residents, visitors and wildlife that every opportunity is taken to reduce detrimental affects and promote long term recovery of the local environment.

We therefore ask that you please sign this petition in order to show a strength and depth of feeling against this Motocross track and support for the future of this wonderful and unique habitat.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
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