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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Coventry v Lawrence [2014] UKSC 13

Also known as

Lawrence & Anor v Fen Tigers Ltd & Others - 4th March 2011

An action for nuisance in the High Court involving motor-sport noise.  Nuisance was found and decibel limits were set of 45dB LAeq, 15min during the day and 37dB LAeq, 15min in the evening.  The judgement considered in detail the application of the WHO Guidelines as a benchmark for nuisance and effectively rejected reliance on their guideline values as a level below which nuisance cannot arise.  Mike Stigwood acted for the complainant.

Peter Harrison Q.C. and William Upton (instructed by Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law) for the claimants.  See:

Richardbuxton Solr lawrence v fen tigers

Mike Stigwood acted for the complainant. See



Croft refers to Watson v Croft Circuit

Neutral Citation Number: [2008] EWHC 759 (QB)

Case No: 7NE90066

Watson v Croft

Mr David Hart QC and Mr Jeremy Hyam (instructed by Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law) for the Claimants

An action for nuisance in the High Court.  Mike Stigwood acted as expert for the claimant’s although was not called to give evidence in the end as the level of intrusion was accepted by the defendants. 


Elvington refers to Neutral Citation Number: [2009] EWHC 1805 (Admin)

Case No: CO/8833/2009

Elvington v York City Council 2009

This was an Enforcement Notice Appeal regarding motor sport noise.  The appeal was upheld.  Mike Stigwood gave evidence for the Local Authority.


Bruntingthorpe refers to Neutral Citation Number: [2014] EWHC 1952 (Admin)

Case No: CO/7746/2013

Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and Harborough District Council 2009

This was an Enforcement Notice Appeal regarding motor sport activities.  Mike Stigwood gave evidence for the Local Authority.


Bontoft & others v East Lindsey District Council

Noise nuisance from vehicles


Noise expert witness M Stigwood.MAS Environmental


Donnington Park Racing

NW Leicester District Council noise control requirement

Donningoton Park Racing Noise Management Plan

Dealing with noise nuisance

What you can do

Noise Nuisance Cases

SEE Buxton Solr and MAS Environmental


Decision :Upheld  Decision date :05 Mar 2014

Complaint from two couples about the failure by the council to take action when the operators of a motor racing track near to their homes breached a notice specifying the permitted frequency and noise levels of events at the track. One of the couples was acting on behalf of 47 other residents.

Because of the delay in the council taking enforcement action for repeated breaches of the notice, the complainants and the villagers they represent have suffered because of the additional noise nuisance.

The Ombudsman has found fault causing injustice.


To remedy the complaint, the council has agreed to instruct a barrister to provide legal advice on the contents of a new Notice. Any new Notice will have to be served on the new track operators (who have operated the track since November 2013) once they start activities.

We also recommend the council:

 consider how to address the outstanding queries over the impact the spectator bunds and track alterations have had on noise levels. And how to address the outstanding planning matters and unapproved alterations to the track. The council should advise the complainants and the Ombudsman how it intends to address these issues within three months of the date of this report;

 pay £2,500 to couple 1 for their avoidable loss of amenity from March 2011 to February 2013 when the council took formal enforcement action;

 pay £5,000 to couple 2 as a contribution towards their receipted expenses for legal advice and noise reports; and

 donate £1,000 to the village schoolroom committee to use as it sees fit for the benefit of the residents who have joined the complaint.

Ombudsman satisfied with the counci's response: 20 June  2014

More ...

If Msport race car test track produces noise that villagers consider to be a noise nuisance then:

Complaints to Allerdale Planning Enforcement Officer (likely to be the officer who passed the application) may result in an investigation about whether planning permission has been infringed and potentially an enforcement action by Allerdale against Msport to comply with the planning permission ie reduce noise or mitigate with eg bunding.

Complaints to Allerdale Environmental Health Officer (EHO) may result in an investigation and potential prosecution under criminal law.  However the decision to prosecute relies on a personal interpretation of nuisance and the prosecution must meet the threshold levels of culpability required in criminal prosecutions.


If a complaint is made then your evidence is either your word, letter, diary of infringement or noise recording.  Environmental Health have equipment that they can lend but this may be offered only after the nuisance has occurred.  You may record on your own device eg phone or movie camera but the sound is unlikely to have the accurate measurement of decibels ie the sound pressure wave and frequency required for legal action to be successful.  

Noise recording equipment measures the sound pressure wave and frequency using a method that is acceptable in proceedings.  

Class 2 devices cost £50 - £200 and are an indication of the level of noise.  

Class 1 devices cost £2,000 - £5,000 and produce evidence that is likely to be acceptable in Criminal, County, High Court and Appeal Courts.  However the device needs calibration, location, weather (wind & rain), actual sound (car / tractor / person / dog ) etc.  Use of Class 1 devices needs training and supervision.


Ideally the noise and weather data should be displayed online in real time with a graph showing the decibel noise levels.

MAS Environmental have an example of online noise recording.

NOISE NUISANCE CASES - MAS Environmental & Buxton Solicitor

Buxton Solr and MAS Environmental have been involved with many significant noise nuisance cases including the Supreme Court case

Lawrence & Anor v Fen Tigers Ltd & Others - 4th March 2011

View the judgement.