West Row: Mildenhall Stadium row couple claim they had no option but to take their legal battle to the Supreme Court

Mildenhall Fen Tigers Speedway team race at Mildenhall Stadium Mildenhall Fen Tigers Speedway team race at Mildenhall Stadium

Jon Vale West Suffolk reporter jon.vale@archant.co.uk
Saturday, March 1, 2014
1:00 PM

The couple who won their six-year legal battle with Mildenhall Stadium have insisted they never wanted the dispute to reach the
highest court in the land – but felt they had no other option.

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The Supreme Court this week ruled in favour of Katherine Lawrence and Raymond Shields in their battle with the owners of Mildenhall Stadium about noise disruption.

The couple moved to a house 560metres from the stadium in Cooks Drove, West Row in 2006, and began legal action two years later.

The stadium owners revealed earlier this week that the stadium could close given the restrictions that could be enforced and the potential multi-million pound legal bill, but Ms Lawrence said she made every effort to settle the issue out of court.

She added: “We looked to amicably resolve the situation without going to court. We’ve had no option.” She said that it seemed to her that the operators did not want to resolve the situation amicably. She also claimed the stadium owners ignored their planning permission.

“From April to November there were two activities of racing every weekend, which meant no respite at all,” Mrs Lawrence added.

Five of the most prominent law lords in the country ruled unanimously in favour of Ms Lawrence and Mr Shields. The court’s summary said the activities at the track “constitute a nuisance” and the operators “fail to establish a prescriptive right to carry out these activities”.

The High Court originally ruled in favour of Ms Lawrence and Mr Shields, but this ruling was overturned by the Court of Appeal. But the Supreme Court reinstated the original verdict, which entitles Ms Lawrence and Mr Shields to £20,000 damages and the
ability to impose restrictions on the stadium should their house - destroyed by fire in
2010 - ever be rebuilt.

The stadium is home to the Mildenhall Fen Tigers speedway team, but also hosts banger, stock car and greyhound racing. Ms Lawrence said activities could last until 1am, with clearing up until 3am.

She said: “It was never our intention to have the stadium shut, but we were never the only complainers.”

Dave Coventry, one of the stadium’s owners, said the couple’s demands at mediation were “unachievable”, adding: “We just couldn’t match what they wanted.

“In terms of the stadium, we’ve never breached our planning permission – we’ve always done exactly as we were supposed to.”

21 comments

  • I have recently bought a house and my conveyancing Solicitor did thorough searches on the surrounding area BEFORE I put pen to paper. Perhaps these people should be suing their Solicitor for not conducting thorough searches. I am sick to the back teeth of people moving into houses then complaining about something or somewhere that has been established for years, and in some cases centuries. It is unbelieveable that the Law of this land can act in favour of a couple of people who are miffed their weekend at their 'country retreat' is disturbed, bless. Give a thought to the numerous people who's weekend will be disturbed if they have no Mildenhall Stadium to attend. Not to mention the employment that would be lost. Ludicrous decision by the Supreme Court and their backward thinking Judges. Long live Mildenhall Stadium and best of luck to Dave Coventry in overturning this ruling.

    Report this comment

    Northern Belle

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • Well if that's the decision of the highest court in the land, then God help us all!

    Report this comment

    Dean

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • Unbelievable. I had to check the date, thought perhaps it was 1st April & not 1st march. Move on the doorstep of a speedway stadium then complain about the noise? I'm speechless, I really am

    Report this comment

    L S

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • 1st its "the church bells are too loud "having just moved next to one then its " the cockerel crowing is to noisy at dawn" when i move near a farm , now its moving next to a speedway stadium and complain about noise what will it be next from people moving to the countryside tractors noisy ploughing the fields or the cows mooing to many times

    Report this comment

    tractor boy

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Unbelievable. I had to check the date, thought perhaps it was 1st April & not 1st march. Move on the doorstep of a speedway stadium then complain about the noise? I'm speechless, I really am

    Report this comment

    L S

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Foxhall is falling apart because there is little interest locally and nobody goes. Its more of a nuisance than benefit and its time to close it down.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • I wish I'd known this when I bought my house 20 years ago. Then I could have complained about the noise from Ipswich Airport, got loads of cash and had it shut down. And I SO foolishly thought, it was there when I bought the house so I've got no legitimate complaint.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • The court would not have reached whatever judgement they have had the stadium been meeting its obligations under the permission to operate they had been granted. Everyone is entitled to peace and quiet in their own home. There is also a balance to be struck and this type of venue often causes a great nuisance to many more people than the small numbers that support them.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Perhaps they'll get the air base closed too, because I'm sure that generates more frequent noise than the stadium does. I would say that there are an awful lot more people who want to see the stadium remain open than those who want to see the stadium closed - it is a fantastic venue for motorsport and there is a wonderful community feel to it. It would be a real shame if these whingers got their way, especially as they haven't even lived there for 4 years!

    Report this comment

    BobCat1990

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • Perhaps I should sue her because I find her an annoying nuisance...

    Report this comment

    Robotix

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Unbelievable. I had to check the date, thought perhaps it was 1st April & not 1st march. Move on the doorstep of a speedway stadium then complain about the noise? I'm speechless, I really am

    Report this comment

    L S

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Unbelievable. I had to check the date, thought perhaps it was 1st April & not 1st march. Move on the doorstep of a speedway stadium then complain about the noise? I'm speechless, I really am

    Report this comment

    L S

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • This backs my case of my old neighbours who used to moan about my partys. First come first served.

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • So the stadium had been there for years before they moved in, running events like speedway and bangers and yet they can sue for noise nuisance and win. Makes no logical sense at all. Did they not check prior to moving in, surely they should be suing their solicitors for failing the highlight this when doing searches on the property. My opinion self centred nimbies

    Report this comment

    A Smith

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • This is insane. The Speedway started there in the seventies so these people must have know about it when purchasing the property. Mind you every time I've been at the stadium the noise coming from the planes at Mildenhall USAF base overpowers anything else around... maybe they will be next on the list. On top of everything else the property is not even there anymore as it burned down!

    Report this comment

    morris

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Dont laugh too hard, why do you think Foxhall stadium is falling apart and looks so sad these says, because they built a huge housing estate of foxhall Rd then put planning restrictions on the use at the stadium which means it does not earn enough money to run or upgrade.

    Report this comment

    The Ginge

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • So move in very close to a popular stadium venue, not many miles from an airbase, and of course we all know they are peaceful tranquil places ! Then the house burns down ! Maybe move away ? Not ever been such an issue before they arrived? An utter joke the whole thing, I hear property is reasonable in Siberia they could try there !

    Report this comment

    Passing through

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • Unbelievable. I had to check the date, thought perhaps it was 1st April & not 1st march. Move on the doorstep of a speedway stadium then complain about the noise? I'm speechless, I really am

    Report this comment

    L S

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • i new a woman who moved from london to suffolk and complained about the smells and a cockrel crowing.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • That is wonderful news, we moved to a place near the A14 and we get noise 247. It must get us rich with all the compo. we will get. we may even manage to get the A14 closed down it will solve the problem of the Orwell Bridge traffic at the same time. Just need to find their solicitor.

    Report this comment

    smokie

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • So they buy a house knowing the stadium is there, and then they have the cheek to complain.

    Report this comment

    Bungay

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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