Mildenhall Stadium’s future in the balance as Supreme Court date looms with owners prepared to go to European Court of Human Rights to avoid potential £2 million costs
- Credit: Contributed
The future of motorsport at Mildenhall Stadium may finally be decided at a court hearing next month.
The long-running legal battle over noise complaints at the venue in West Row reached the Supreme Court in 2014, where the judge ruled against stadium owners RDC Promotions and in favour of the owners of a nearby home.
This decision left the company, owned by Ron and Dave Coventry, facing legal bills of up to £2million, which they claim will put an end to the stadium as a motorsport venue.
However, a hearing in February at the Supreme Court could see this bill drastically reduced to about £300,000 if a “landmark” ruling is made.
Dave Coventry said: “We lost the case at the Supreme Court after winning at appeal. But now the issue of the costs is coming up.
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“The amount of money, which had reached over £1million before getting to Supreme Court, that they (complainant representatives) are trying to claim, does not make sense. It is totally disproportionate, you would not spend that much to get a compensation payout of just £20,000.”
The stadium is home to stock car racing and greyhound racing and is home to the Mildenhall Fen Tigers speedway team.
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The case was first brought to court in 2009 when noise complaints from the owners of the house took RDC Promotions to the High Court.
RDC argued that, with the stadium in existence since the 1970s, the house owners came to the nuisance, but they lost the case.
The court ruled that the track should be limited to 12 events a year and ordered RDC to pay compensation and the house owners’ legal costs. These legal costs, incurred by legal representatives for the house owners who had a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, have reached more than £1million. At the Court of Appeal this was overturned, and the case then escalated to the Supreme Court, where the original ruling was upheld.
However, the restriction on the number of events at the venue will only be enacted if the property is returned to habitable use, following a fire which gutted the property in 2010.
Mr Coventry said: “We will do everything we can to keep motorsport here, but if we are made to pay the full costs, we will have to close.
“It won’t just ruin the raceway, it will ruin us personally we put everything into it. Our backs are to the wall and there is no other way out.
“We have a (legal) team prepared to go to the European Court of Human Rights.”