Dovenby Village

Know your past, appreciate what is special, preserve our environment

All content are opinions and objections that were raised as part of the response to Msport planning application to Allerdale planning ref 2/2014/0350.  If you have any comment or disagreement then first realise that opinion is just that, opinion in a public planning process.  You may email factual errors to Contact @

A rural village with a medieval heritage - but an industrial estate imposed beside it

   Information & action to preserve rural tranquility

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The application fails to comply with Allerdale Development Plan

Policies from Allerdale Local Plan that justify preserving the natural environment of Dovenby Hall estate.

S14 Rural Economy

Expansion of Existing Rural Businesses

Proposals for the expansion of existing businesses will be supported outside of the settlement hierarchy where it can be demonstrated that it is an established business and it is not viable to relocate within the settlement hierarchy, and proposals;

f) Which seek to expand the business outside of the existing curtilage must demonstrate that that it is essential to the needs of the business;

g) That involve any new buildings or extensions must be of appropriate scale and nature to their location.

MSport's car manufacturing business should not have been allowed in a rural setting.  However their current proposal is not of an appropriate scale given the rural nature of the location.

The essential need is not shown, their proposal states one alternative is do nothing.  The development could take place at Lillyhall or their existing testing tracks at Kirkbride and Greystoke.

176. Policy S14 supports the spatial strategy and seeks to ensure that the majority of growth is directed towards the larger settlements throughout the Plan Area. In order to support job creation and prosperity in rural areas the Council will support appropriate sized new enterprises within Local Service Centres and Rural Villages as defined in the settlement hierarchy. Promoting appropriate growth within existing towns and villages improves the sustainability of the lower tier settlements whilst protecting the open countryside from unfettered development.

MSport's race car development should comply with the spatial strategy and the growth should be directed towards the larger settlements, not in a hamlet by 66 houses.

179 In order to provide further protection for the countryside proposals must demonstrate that the business is established and that it is not viable to re-locate to within the settlement hierarchy.

No reasonable viability plan given; further protection for our Dovenby Hall countryside required.

180. Policy S14 also encourages rural enterprises which have a clear need to be located in a rural location, such as some tourism, agricultural and equestrian proposals.

A race car manufacturing building and associated testing / entertainment track is not tourism, agriculture nor equestrian; it has no overwhelming requirement to be rural based.

S17 Tourism, Coastal and Countryside Recreation

199. As well as being the area’s most valuable tourism asset, the unspoilt countryside and coastlines are also the area’s most sensitive resource. Much of the Plan Area is protected by international, national, regional and local designations such as the Natura 2000, World Heritage, Solway Coast AONB, SSSI and County Wildlife sites. Whilst the desire to develop the tourism industry is high, the priority must always be to conserve and protect the natural and historic environment from detrimental development.

A race track and associated buildings would be detrimental.

202 ... Outdoor recreation and adventure activities. Allerdale has an abundance of outstanding coast and countryside which offers a huge range of opportunities for visitors to enjoy walking, cycling, sailing, kite surfing and a variety of other adventure activities. ‘Adventure recreation’ has recently become one of the most successful tourism sectors in the UK, attracting a wide range of visitors. The Council will support proposals for facilities and infrastructure to support the outdoor recreation market where they are appropriately located and in line with environmental objectives.

Motor racing not identified as outdoor or recreation activity.  Motor racing is not in line with environmental objectives.

S19 Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Technologies

The Council will seek to promote and encourage the development of renewable and low carbon energy resources given the significant wider environmental, community and economic benefits. Proposals where impacts (either in isolation or cumulatively) are, or can be made acceptable will be permitted. The Council will take a positive view where;

a) Proposals (either in isolation or cumulatively);

i) Do not have an unacceptably adverse impact on the amenity of

local residents (such as air quality/emissions, noise, odour, water

pollution, shadow flicker);

ii) Do not have significant adverse impact on the location, in relation

to visual impact and impact on the character and sensitivity of the

surrounding landscape;

iii) Do not have an adverse effect on any European/International

protected nature conservation site (including SACs, SPAs and

Ramsar sites, candidate SACs, potential SPAs and proposed

Ramsar sites) including its qualifying habitats and species, either

alone or in-combination with other plans or projects.

iv) Do not have a significant adverse effect on any National nature

conservation site (Site of Special Scientific Interest; National

Nature Reserve), except where the benefits of the development

clearly outweigh both the impact on the site and any broader

impacts on the wider network of National sites.

v) Do not result in loss or harm to a Local nature conservation site,

including habitats or species supported by Local Sites, unless it

can be demonstrated that there is a need for the development in

that location and that the benefit of development outweighs the

harm or loss.

iv) Do not have unacceptably adverse impact on heritage assets and

their settings;

The proposal contravenes policies S19 S01a, b, e, f

The manufacture, testing and demonstration of high performance petrol guzzling air polluting noisy racing motor cars contravene Allerdale's policies and vision for a low carbon future and adversely impacts on the amenity of local residents and negatively impacts on the sensitive natural environment and its species and is inappropriate in the historic setting of the medieval pele tower and ancient parkland and woodland.

Evidence: see MSport's own

Cumbria's attracts tourists

Local history

World knowledge

S27 Heritage Assets

The historic environment including all heritage assets and their settings will be

conserved and enhanced in a manner appropriate to their intrinsic historic

value and significance, their importance to local character, distinctiveness and

sense of place, and to other social, cultural economic or environmental


A motor manufacturing factory and associated testing and entertainment track is not a development that is appropriate in the setting of a grade 2 listed building, pele tower, historic parkland, naturally regenerating ancient woodland, ancient cross, burial memorial by the south end and walled perimeter of historic site of Dovenby Hall.

Evidence: see MSport's own

Cumbria's attracts tourists

Local history

World knowledge

S30 Reuse of Land

295. Policies encourage redevelopment of previously developed land and support schemes that involve the restoration and regeneration of these sites, provided these sites are not of high environmental value. Vacant land can provide an ideal habitat in which plant and animal wildlife can thrive, especially if left undeveloped and undisturbed.

The woodland and the open spaces proposed for the race track and associated building are an important natural habitat.

DM16 Sequential Test for Previously Developed Land

There is much space and redundant buildings in Lillyhall Industrial Estate.  There is a history of vehicle manufacturing there and workforce employed in  advanced product development in metals and in the nuclear industry.  The applicant is a vehicle manufacturer - It seems they compete in the World Rally Championship as a manufacturer - and their proposed future research and development would be better sited where previous and existing research and manufacturing takes place, Lillyhall.


S31 Reuse of Rural Buildings and Replacement of Dwellings in the


Some of the existing ex hospital buildings are currently rented to external organisations as offices.  

Their own website states "The diversity offered by the estate's accommodation has been a major part of its appeal as a business environment. It caters for all requirements, from single serviced offices in the main hall itself, through to offices in the surrounding 'houses' - four stand-alone buildings that have been refurbished to offer up-to-date accommodation for some of the UK's leading companies."

What is the justification for not refurbishing the other virtually identical buildings in the same way to comply with this policy?

There is no measure of the noise levels from the proposed track for the existing office workers nor proposed new office workers.  WHO and laws governing office environments need to be shown to be complied with.

The previous consultation did not include the existing external office workers.  Any future consultation should ask the external organisations to allow the individual office workers on the site to make confidential comments in relation to the noise levels predicted by any amended proposal.


 S32 Safeguarding Amenity

304. What constitutes ‘amenity’ is a wide ranging and flexible concept. Some aspects which affect amenity are practical and tangible such as traffic generation, pollution, noise, nuisance and even the way of life of a neighbourhood. Other aspects are less clearly defined, such as expectations of standards of space, provision of facilities and social impacts of development. The Council will seek to ensure that all development achieves a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings.

Support will be given for proposals which make a positive contribution to the area by maintaining or improving the quality of the environment and amenity.

The development of new housing or other environmentally sensitive development will normally be resisted in locations where there is potential to incur statutory nuisance or poor standards of residential amenity by virtue of impacts such as air pollution,  noise, smell, dust, vibration, light or other pollution.

Proposals will not be supported where they would:

a. Result in pollution or hazards which prejudice the health and safety of communities and their environments, including nature conservation interests and the water environment which cannot be overcome by appropriate mitigation measures;

b. Result in a detrimental effect on the local area in terms of visual amenity, distinctive character or environmental quality;

e. Cause significant adverse environmental impact in relation to landscape, biodiversity ...

f. Unduly prejudice the satisfactory development or operation of adjoining land and/or the development of the surrounding area as a whole.

305. This policy aims to ensure that new developments do not harm the safety or amenity of existing and future residents or the natural environment. This includes minimising air, noise, light, water quality or odour pollution, that would be harmful to other land uses, human health, tranquillity or the natural and built environment. National policy states that Councils should aim to avoid and mitigate the impacts of potential pollution associated with development.

309. The Council will enter discussions with developers to guide potential nuisance creating proposals to less sensitive areas wherever possible. Development which, either on its own or cumulatively, would result in noise, odour or light pollution, would harm environmental quality or would pose a risk to health and safety, which cannot be mitigated to an acceptable level, will be resisted.

Policies 304 305 309 are contravened in the application:

The current use of the site has resulted in regular disturbing light pollution from the illuminations of the grade 2 listed pele tower; this spoils astronomy observations and interferes with natural behaviour of wildlife.  

MSport has occasionally held in corporate events with loud music played until after 1am with the bass in particular carrying into our bedrooms disturbing our sleep.  

MSport have had noisy firework displays until very late at night at various times of the year without any prior notice that have disturbed people, pets and wildlife.  

There are helicopter flights that sometimes hover noisily above the village.  

All these things are likely to increase if the proposed track, development and corporate events are allowed.  

The peak noise made by race cars would be disturbing to people and wildlife even if the average noise was manipulated to be at a low technical figure.  

The increased noise associated with corporate events would be disturbing based on previous events.

Noise from track and corporate events would harm our amenity value, harm our health according to WHO guidelines and likely result in many residents making claims of noise nuisance.  

Many residents are already checking that they have insurance cover that will pay for legal action against the source of noise nuisance.

The amenity of our residences would be greatly reduced because of the noise and habitat disturbances resulting from the proposal.

S24 Green Infrastructure

The Council will promote the creation, enhancement, maintenance and

protection of a range of green infrastructure assets that contribute to a diverse

network of natural and man-made green and blue spaces, links, habitats and

landscapes, which is accessible to all. The Council will work with partners and

developers to:

a) Promote high quality, attractive places which allow everyone to enjoy

direct and regular contact with the natural environment;

b) Seek to ensure green infrastructure is woven into new development

wherever possible;

c) Protect, manage, enhance and create key natural and semi-natural

habitats and wildlife corridors, including watercourses, wetlands,

woodlands (including ancient woodland and trees) and parklands;

e) Promote design and management of parks and natural green spaces to

increase biodiversity and maximise their function as nature reserves;

h) Promote creation of multi functional habitat networks, such as

communal / private courtyards, pocket green spaces and green

buildings, which are responsive to a range of microclimatic conditions

and provide an experience of nature on people’s doorstep;

i) Seek the creation of new and enhanced links and corridors between

towns and settlements such as cycle ways and footpaths;

j) Promote improvements in air, water and soil quality and more

sustainable drainage and flood mitigation solutions;

k) Seek the protection and rehabilitation of landscapes and habitats

damaged or lost by development or land management practices;

S35 Protecting and Enhancing Biodiversity and Geodiversity

Developments, projects and activities will be expected to:

a) Protect and enhance key ecological habitats and wildlife corridors and stepping stones including watercourses and wetlands;

b) Maintain, and where appropriate enhance, conditions for priority habitats and species identified in the Cumbria and UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species and habitats or the Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre at Tullie House;

e) Contribute to Allerdale’s green infrastructure network in line with Policy


f) Protect existing trees, hedgerows and woodland (including ancient trees and hedgerows) that are considered important to the local community, contribute positively to the character of the area and/or are of a nature conservation value. Development that present significant economic or social benefits for the local community may be permitted where the Council, in consultation with relevant partner organisations are satisfied that any necessary impacts can be mitigated or compensated through appropriate habitat creation, restoration or enhancement on site or elsewhere secured via planning conditions, agreements or obligations. Where a development poses significant harm to an irreplaceable habitat which cannot be mitigated or compensated for, permission will be refused.

The proposal contravenes policies S24 S35

The continuous strip of woodland that encloses the Dovenby Hall Estate provides a wildlife corridor around the estate and links to the other woodland corridors adjacent to the Estate.  

For example I have seen a red squirrel clamber from the Dovenby Hall woods near the old school building and cross over the main road where branches meet the wood on the east side of the road.  Mrs Fossey has similarly seen red squirrels using the tree tops of the Dovenby estate wildlife corridor to cross the road.  We have had red squirrels coming to our house and we have seen them on the trees that border the estate, and also seen them on the trees that form a wildlife corridor from the Estate southern wood corridor, to the trees and hedges that lead to the old railway line towards Broughton.  A neighbour has a photo of them on the estate wall.  There are many squirrels that visited us when we temporarily lived at the bungalow beside the school; a corridor of trees extends from Broughton to Tallentire and to Cockermouth and the perimeter of Dovenby Hall estate is likely to act as a cross roads and a wildlife refuge / base habitat / oasis.

A kingfisher uses a branch from our garden to dive from and catch the many little fish in our village beck.  Workers in Dovenby Hall say they have seen a kingfisher by the pond that has been made there.  The stream at the south end of the parkland is likely to be another hunting ground.  It flies to the trees around the perimeter which provide protection are likely to be its wildlife corridor.  We and neighbours have seen a greater spotted woodpecker that flies to and from the trees on the perimeter of the estate.  In the spring we always hear the woodpecker knocking in the trees around Dovenby Hall estate.  Today (21 Aug) a deer was grazing in the estate grounds.

The proposal for a race track will produce a huge level of noise that will affect wildlife in the perimeter woodland wildlife corridor which starts ten 10 - 20 metres away from the race track.  

Noise levels must be produced by the applicant to show to independent noise and wildlife experts that the race track noise would not affect the wildlife in the woodland that he owns and which provides an important natural pool of ancient and self regenerating flora and fauna and which provides an important amenity for the surrounding villagers and the wider community.

I have heard tawny barn owls regularly over the years and this year I am almost certain that I heard a tawny owl.  These owls likely use the big rough grass area around the cricket pitch as hunting ground; the area proposed for the track.

There are three hares seen this week in the village and they are likely to use the field at the southern end of the estate, where the track would be.  I used to see hares, hedgehogs, tree creepers, nuthatch, woodpecker when I used to walk in the grounds every day when the hospital was open.  I offered MSport the opportunity for villagers to take part in creating or recording a nature reserve but was ignored; they seem to want money from the estate more than sharing natures resources with us villagers.  The original landlord Ballantyne Dykes probably allowed more access than the current owner.

The proposal for housing requires destroying part of this wildlife corridor that will ruin an important sustainable wildlife corridor.

Destruction of naturally regenerating woodland on site of ancient woodland to build houses.  Biodiversity and adaptation of flora especially wild garlic.  Loss of fauna especially red squirrels, rookery, woodpeckers, jackdaws, tree creepers, nuthatch all seen on site.  Fungi are specific to root and nutrition systems and take many years to generate; replanting would not replace the biodiversity that has naturally developed since ancient times.


176. Policy S14 supports the spatial strategy and seeks to ensure that the majority of growth is directed towards the larger settlements throughout the Plan Area. In order to support job creation and prosperity in rural areas the Council will support appropriate sized new enterprises within Local Service Centres and Rural Villages as defined in the settlement hierarchy. Promoting appropriate growth within existing towns and villages improves the sustainability of the lower tier settlements whilst protecting the open countryside from unfettered development.

Dovenby village is a lower tier settlement and its sustainablility is not improved by the race track, only one person in the village works at MSport.  Existing holiday lets would be harmed by noise.  House prices and sell-ability would reduce because potential purchasers presume there would be noise from a race track would reduce their amenity and tranquillity in the rural setting of the house they would otherwise purchase.



By 20282029 Allerdale’s communities will be sustainable, prosperous, safe, healthy and vibrant. The economy will be strong, diversified and well connected, with a growing and highly skilled population, with high employment, capitalising on skills and opportunities in the nuclear, energy and tourism sectors.

It will be a place that has adapted to meet the challenges of climate change, has a diverse and extensive network of accessible green infrastructure, unspoilt landscape and coastline and areas rich in biodiversity and geodiversity.

It will be a place where all sections of society have access to affordable, well designed homes that meet a range of needs, close to jobs, services and sustainable transport, where historic environments are protected conserved and enhanced and sustainable development, investment and successful regeneration has created prosperous towns supported by sustainable rural communities.

Rural Areas - will be made up of thriving, sustainable communities with improved access to employment opportunities and greater diversity in the local economy. Availability of affordable housing will have increased and existing services will have been retained and in places enhanced whilst the quality of the local environment and biodiversity assets has been protected and enhanced.

The application contravenes your vision; Motor racing is not sustainable, is not part of green infrastructure, spoils the landscape and the noise will drive outthe biodiversity aimed for in the Plan Vision.  The noise will drive away tourists who seek rural tranquility that is currently found in the area.


Strategic Objectives

Climate Change and Sustainability

SO1a Reduce Allerdale’s carbon footprint and support a low carbon future.

SO1b Ensure a comfortable, resilient and liveable environment across Allerdale by ensuring development adapts to, and mitigates the effects of climate change.  

SO1e Support and encourage construction methods that seek to reduce energy consumption, use renewable energy sources, minimise waste and encourage recycling.

SO1f Promote renewable and low carbon energy production in the Plan Area.

A development and race car testing track to develop high performance petrol guzzling cars with a high CO2 emission levels will contravene these policies.



SO2a Enable a balanced housing market that delivers a mix of housing type

and tenure to meet the needs of all communities.

No need shown for Dovenby

SO2b Support housing renewal and re-use of empty properties.

At least three unsold and empty properties, no need for more.

SO2c Ensure a deliverable supply of housing land that meets the needs of the

community and local economy.

no requirement shown for Dovenby, unsold houses, some empty for three years.

SO2d Increase access to affordable housing as part of housing developments

and rural exception sites.

No requirement shown for affordable housing in Dovenby.

SO2e Support independent living for older people and people with disabilities

by ensuring housing is adaptable for changing and varied needs.

No such measures shown in the application.

SO5f Protect and enhance the quality of the environment and amenity.

Noise from the track will reduce the quality of the environment and amenity.

Natural Environment

SO6a Protect and enhance the natural and historic landscape, including ancient woodland and geological assets, from unnecessary and harmful development, particularly within the Solway Coast AONB and areas adjoining the National Park.

The proposed housing is on the site of a naturally regenerating ancient woodland according to the Forestry Commission's submission and thus the housing should be refused.

SO6b Protect and enhance biodiversity and geodiversity, notably the Natura 2000 sites and create ecologically diverse habitats across Allerdale and ensure the ability of habitats and species to adapt to climate change.

SO6c Promote opportunities to improve access to the countryside and coast.

SO6d Ensure high levels of water, and air quality are retained and where necessary improved, and safeguard agricultural land.

SO6e Promote, protect and provide a comprehensive network of green infrastructure, incorporating multi-functional green and blue spaces both within developments, and linking across and between settlements throughout the area.

Dovenby Hall Estate should be designated in Allerdale Sites Definition according to Allerdale's Green Infrastructure Survey 2011 page 48 as a site of significant biodiversity and also a significant protected habitat and also a wildlife crossroads corridor.  The site should be open to genuine wildlife and nature enthusiasts, perhaps allowing regular surveys and conservation work by members and volunteers of Cumbria Wildlife Trust who

Cumbria Rights of Way Improvement Plan,

There were walks regularly used through and around the estate.  Public go to the offices of external organisations in the estate.  Why not permissive path in perimeter.

Policy S25 Sports, Leisure and Open Space

Open Space, Sport and Recreation Strategies,

The Council will seek to maintain, enhance and protect the provision of formal

and informal sports and recreation facilities and public open space throughout

the Plan Area ... by encouraging and securing more community use agreements with schools and private sports facilities.

Development proposals that will result in the loss of open space, sports and

recreational facilities will not be permitted unless:

h) An assessment has been undertaken which has clearly shown the

open space, buildings or land to be surplus to requirements; or

i) The loss resulting from the proposed development would be replaced

by equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality in a

suitable location; or

j) The development is for alternative sports and leisure provision, the needs for which clearly outweigh the loss.

Why cannot we have access to play on the cricket pitch in Dovenby Hall Estate as originally mentioned.  The open space is an amenity.  Sport England should be asked to comment of the disappearance of the cricket pitch or the banning of people from using it.

Cumbria Landscape Character Toolkit (part 2)

Page 13 3.2 Page 11 2.38 2.39

This explains Landscape  character assessment is recognised as a key tool  to support the shift to the ‘all landscapes matter’  approach.  The landscape of the sheltered open space of Dovenby Hall Estate that is surrounded by a wildlife corridor of ancient woodland trees is a special if not unique landscape.  The historic settings explained in MSport's own web pages (see below) describe clearly the significant historic setting of the landscape.  The landscape would be scarred by so many new buildings and by the imposition of a totally inappropriate racing car track.


Allerdale Local Plan

Site Allocations; Deciding what should happen and where.


Allerdale policy S35 Protecting and Enhancing Biodiversity and Geodiversity

Maintain, and where appropriate enhance, conditions for priority habitats and species identified in the

The Cumbria Biodiversity Action Plan,

UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species and habitats

Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre at Tullie House     and

Natural England's response to planning application:

Date: 08 July 2014 Our ref: 124874 Your ref: 2/2014/0350

Natural England does not provided advice on non-statutory sites, as the proposal is affecting a County Wildlife Site, in the first instance we recommend advice be sought from Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust created with / for Cumbria & Allerdale the

Cumbria Biodiversity Action Plan

(Cumbria Biodiversity Partnership, c/o Cumbria Wildlife Trust)

The importance of Dovenby Hall estate is shown in

Allerdale Green Infrastructure Study (2011),

SEE PAGE 48 Dovenby is listed as a site of importance to Biodiversity.

Cumbria Landscape Character Assessment,

This document defines how inappropriate the development would be


Open Space, Sport and Recreation Strategies,

Policy S25 Sports, Leisure and Open Space

Development proposals that will result in the loss of open space, sports and recreational facilities will not be permitted (we want to use the cricket pitch!)

Cumbria Rights of Way Improvement Plan,

Cumbria's ROWIP has a supporting strategy, called the 'Cumbria Countryside Access Strategy see document at:

Villagers had permission to go through the estate when it was a hospital, I used to go through almost every day.  A permissive path around the perimeter should be arranged as part of this plan.