Parliamentary Petition Campaign
Page updated June 25: News section updated
Following the news that RDC Promotions and Mildenhall Stadium had lost it's Supreme Court battle against two residents who own the property closest to the stadium (Fenland), a verdict which threatens the future of both RDC and Mildenhall Stadium as well as all noise making sports, leisure and arts venues, it was announced on March 21 2014 that RDC Promotions would take their fight to the Houses of Parliament and began their campaign with news that a petition would be started, not only calling for Parliament to intervene in the case but to also protect all similar venues from being victim to such action.
Despite Mildenhall Stadium being first opened in 1974 and running motorsport every year since (in 1991 parts of the stadium were rebuilt meaning very few activities were held that year but did include a small number of speedway practise events and music events), being one the most popular short oval racing motor venues in the UK, one of the few venues to stage stockcar and banger, speedway and greyhound racing in the current era and having full planning permission to run its existing events the stadium still lost its noise nuisance case at the Supreme Court in March 2014 which had been spearheaded by Katherine and Raymond Shields who moved into Fenlands (0.3mile past the stadium entrance) who bought the property in 2006 and started their complaints a few months later claiming they bought the property unaware of the stadium's existence, let alone it's activities, a statement which has been argued against with sworn testimonies from the previous owner of the property and estate agents involved in the deal who gave evidence that their claims are untrue.
In 2011 the case was tried at the High Court where the stadium lost but in February 2012 the decision was overturned at the Court of Appeal only for the Supreme Court to overrule their decision in 2014. The decision of the Supreme Court could see the original High Court judgement once again passed which could mean the stadium is restricted to running as few as 12 motorsport events a year (there are currently 40 events scheduled in 2014) with further restrictions which, if passed, would make it almost impossible for the stadium to survive. Furthermore having lost the Supreme Court case, the stadium owners now face the prospect of being made to pay the entire costs of the case which are estimated to now exceed £2million.
The decision has been met with outrage through the sport of short oval motor racing and all who use and enjoy the stadium and this outrage is starting to filter through to others whose hobbies and livelihoods could be threatened by this decision which we believe has far greater implications beyond the sports of stockcar and banger and speedway racing.
With that in mind we are hoping to expand our campaign far beyond the world of short oval motorsport, motorsport in general and those who enjoy the activities at Mildenhall Stadium. We are hoping to spread our campaign to all those who enjoy a hobby or pass time, whether it be participating, organising or spectating, which makes a noise to join our campaign and help protect their passion as well.
The decision of the Supreme Court could have implications to activities such as football, rugby and other sports, all forms of motor racing and even arts and leisure venues such as live music venues.
The potential impact of the Supreme Court's judgement was underlined by Matt Prior was wrote in Autocar magazine “The short of it is that you can move somewhere, uncaring about what might be nearby, because you can set about having it shut down when you get there.”
We hope you will agree that this is not acceptable and the law of this country needs to be changed.
This page has been designed to bring you all the information about our campaign and will be regularly updated as our fight continues. Thanks for your support
Petition News (updated June 25)
How you can help
Timeline of events and background information
Below are all the news stories published on the RDC website relating to our campaign, the most recent stories can be found at the top of the section.
Parliamentary Petition update (added June 25)
It’s been a couple of weeks since we have put out an update of our Parliamentary Petition calling on the Government to ensure the long term future of Mildenhall Stadium following our loss at Supreme Court earlier this year and also calling on Government to change the law of the land to ensure this does not happen anywhere else, but we have been continuing to work on our campaign.
Our on line petition, which has collected over 14,000 names, comes to an end tomorrow (Thursday, June 26) so while this is the last chance to sign that petition this is far from the end of our campaign and we are currently working on our next step and will update you on this as soon as information is available.
In the meantime we are pleased to report that West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock has issued a press release saying he is doing everything he can to stop any potential closure of the stadium.
In his statement he says: “The stadium embodies generations of memories and it lies at the centre of the community in Mildenhall. I am delighted that so many local people, of all ages, have come forward and contacted me showing their support. The petition has caused quite a storm in the local news and it is a great way of raising the profile of the situation.
“I have written to the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs seeking his support on keeping Mildenhall Stadium open. I know how important the stadium is to people in Mildenhall and I will continue to fight to save it from closure.”
It would seem that his statement may well have been sparked by the letters written to him by those under the age of 18 who are not old enough to sign the petition and with that in mind we would like to especially thank those who took the time to write a letter to their MP.
We are also so pleased to continually be receiving filled in petitions from people who asked for their own copies of the petition to help collect signatures and these continue to push our numbers forward. Again despite the deadline for our initial on line petition being this week, this is far from the end of our campaign and we are still encouraging people to contact us for their own copy of the petition to collect signatures from friends, family and work colleagues and again this is making a massive difference to our campaign. You can contact us by e mailing email@example.com or 01268 412299.
Mildenhall Stadium on-line petition breaks 14,000 barrier (added June 4)
We are delighted this week to report that the on-line version of our Parliamentary Petition has now broken the 14,000 barrier and would like to extend a massive message of thanks to everyone who has helped us get this far.
Equally encouraging is the steady flow of paper petitions we are having returned to us by people who requested their own copy of the petition and this has boosted numbers significantly. We have yet to complete an accurate count of the paper petition but we believe we are on course for the overall number to be reaching towards the 25,000 mark which is a tremendous achievement in such a short space of time.
We remain extremely grateful to all those who have signed and again call on everyone’s support to help us keep pushing this number further and in particular encourage everyone to ask any friends, family or work colleagues they have who would like to support our cause by signing the on-line petition if they haven’t yet done so and there is still time for people to have their own copy of the paper petition to collect your own signatures. Again this has proved absolutely critical in boosting our numbers and reaching people who otherwise may not have been aware of our campaign. If you would like a copy of the petition then please e mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org and heartfelt thanks again to everyone who has helped us get so far.
Rock band SKAM to perform at Mildenhall Stadium as part of Living Room tour (added May 28)
As announced at our meetings over the bank holiday weekend we are truly delighted to announce that Leicester based rock band SKAM will be performing live at Mildenhall Stadium following the National Banger BBA British Championship and Reliant Robin World Final on Saturday, June 28 as part of their Living Room tour.
The upcoming three piece band announced their living room tour competition in April, as part of them preparing for the release of their second album and headline tour this summer, and invited fans to write to them and recommend their living room for them to play in between June 27 and 29.
RDC’s Michael Coventry wrote suggesting they could play at Mildenhall Stadium on Saturday, June 28, telling of our recent loss at Supreme Court and that a live show would help lift some spirits and could be a nice thank you for those who have supported us so much in recent months…we also tried to bribe them with fish and chips!
And we are blown away to confirm that the band has been in touch and confirmed that we have been chosen as one of the venues for their unique tour and they will be joining us on Saturday, June 28 and will perform live in the Fenman bar after the meeting.
There will no additional charge to enjoy their show after the meeting which will all be included in the admission price for the championship double header meeting and we are sure the band would love to see as many of you as possible stick around after the meeting to enjoy their music.
Once again we would like to thank the band for picking us as part of their mini tour and cannot wait to welcome them to Mildenhall Stadium on Saturday, June 28. For more information and to hear their music please use the links below and listen out for their music at Mildenhall Stadium in the coming weeks.
Click here to see some of SKAM's music videos and some live footage
Click here for SKAM's official website
Click here for SKAM's Facebook page
Statement from RDC Promotions (added May 21)
As detailed in last week’s news update, last week was potentially a critical one in RDC’s noise nuisance case as we were back before the Supreme Court again for the first time since learning of our defeat in the court against two residents in our noise fight.
We had fully expected that last week we would learn a lot more about the exact implications of the loss with relation to court costs and restrictions on the stadium. However, after a full day in court we appear to be no closer to finding this information out and as it stands we do not have a date for when this process will be continued.
On the one hand it means we continue to be in a state of limbo and facing uncertainty with the future of our business and the stadium but on the other it does mean that all activities at RDC and Mildenhall Stadium will continue as normal for the immediate future at the very least, starting with a busy weekend this weekend with greyhound, stockcar and banger and speedway racing at Mildenhall and our latest race meeting at Dover Raceway as well.
Furthermore, as announced on the home page of the site last week, we are aware that many people who signed the on line version of our petition received a response from the Government last week.
This reply is exactly what we expected.
When you receive a response at this stage it just tells you what the law is as it stands.
It's because of this law that we are doing what we are doing and trying to change it.
Please don't think that this is the end as it's not, it's only the beginning.
The Government has to reply once the e petition goes above 10,000 and we expected their response to say exactly what it has. If you look at other e petitions that have had a response it's the same. We have already got a route into parliament so we do not need to achieve 100,000 names on our petition because we have a manual petition running too.
Obviously the more we get the better and that's why we still need all the help we can get and are still open to anyone who would like a copy of the petition themselves to collect signatures from friends, family and work colleagues and from volunteers who would like to help collect signatures at our meetings at Mildenhall and Dover.
If you would like to get involved please contact us by e mailing email@example.com or phoning 01268 412299 (ideally between 9.30am and 12.30pm) Thank you to everyone that has helped and signed we really, really appreciate it and please remember the petition will be available to sign at not only Mildenhall and Dover this weekend but also at Arena Essex and King’s Lynn so if you have yet to add your support we would be very grateful to those who do.
Message of thanks from RDC
Promotions (added May 14)
As many of you are aware this week is a critical week in the future of RDC Promotions and Mildenhall Stadium in relation to our much talked about loss at the Supreme Court in our long running noise nuisance case against two local residents.
We are currently processing the latest developments so please bear with us and we hope to have a full statement next week and your patience as well as your continued support remains greatly appreciated at this time.
However, what we can confirm is that at the moment there remains no change to the activities at RDC and Mildenhall Stadium and it very much remains a case of business as usual for the moment and short term future at the very least and with the 22nd annual Pre70 Banger meeting and Tony Osborne Memorial shaping up very nicely and Dirty Weekend already starting to show great promise we have much to look forward to.
The incredible support from drivers, their teams and families and the fans that we have been blessed with at RDC since March continues to not only astound us but remains a huge source of motivation, strength and encouragement at this time and we remain hugely grateful to everyone who has supported us in whatever manner they can and continue to do so in the future.
In the meantime our Parliamentary Petition will continue and we hope to be at King’s Lynn and Hednesford this weekend collecting more names. Those who have requested their own petitions are now reminded that we are still without a deadline for these petitions and encourage anyone collecting signatures in their own way to continue to do and renew our call for anyone who would like a copy of the petition to collect more names from their friends, family or work colleagues to please get in touch (either by calling 01268 412299, ideally between 9.30am and 12.30pm Monday to Friday, or e mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we can either post or e mail petitions). Individuals completing their own petitions remains a huge boost to our campaign and again this weekend saw several more filled in sheets returned to further increase the number of signatures and we continue to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in this manner.
Heartfelt thanks, as always, the Coventry family.
Mildenhall Stadium Parliamentary Petition breaks 20,000 barrier (added May 7)
We are delighted to report this week that our Parliamentary Petition, calling on the Government to intervene in the ruling against the stadium by the Supreme Court to ensure the future of the stadium and its activities and for the law of our country to be changed preventing future cases, has now smashed the 20,000 barrier.
Our on line petition continues to steadily grow and has now passed the 13,000 mark but following some superb support this weekend which included hundreds more signatures being collected at Northampton and Dover with the number boosted further by several petitions being returned by others who have been collecting names saw around 1,000 more paper signatures collected taking this total towards the 8,000 mark.
Bearing in mind the petition was launched less than two months ago this is a tremendous achievement and while we still have a long road ahead the continued show of support from so many remains a great motivator and pillar of strength at this ever difficult time.
Thanks again to everyone who has supported this petition and please remember your continued support remains vital as we continue with this and anything you can do will help, as always we encourage people to please make their friends, family and work colleagues aware and encourage them to support the on line petition and we are still welcome to hear from people who would like their own petition to collect signatures (this at the weekend saw nearly 500 signatures returned to underline what a massive amount of support this is) and we are still eager to hear from volunteers to help collect signatures at our meetings at Mildenhall and Dover.
March RC Raceway holding a meeting to help support Mildenhall Stadium (added May 7)
We have heard from the team at March Remote Control Raceway who are staging a special event on Sunday, June 1 which is both racing funds for FORDS and also being held to help raise awareness for Mildenhall Stadium’s Parliamentary Petition campaign.
The event will feature unlimited bangers, bangers and saloon stockcars and for more information please visit their website which can be found at http://marchraceway.weebly.com/
Thanks again to the team at March Raceway for their kind support of our campaign.
On line petition cracks 13,000
(added April 30)
This week we are delighted to report that our on line petition, which has steadily continued to grow and grow, has now broken the 13,000 barrier and with the paper petition past the 6,500 ark we believe the 20,000 barrier is very much within touching distance.
We would again like to thank everyone who continues to support and push our campaign, especially those who continue to spread the word of the on line petition to those outside our sport to those who support our campaign and perhaps feel their hobbies and passtimes could be affected by the Supreme Court ruling.
We have some more potentially exciting projects going on behind the scenes at the moment to try and boost the knowledge of our petition, in particular to other areas which could be affected by the ruling of the Supreme Court, and we hope to be able to share with you details of these in the near future when they are completed.
In the meantime we would like to extend a special message of thanks to Zeta, Lauren and Ellie for their help with the petition at Mildenhall on Saturday which once again proved an invaluable help to our campaign.
Easter weekend petition round
up and thanks (added April 23)
As promised the Easter weekend was a busy and successful one for our petition which has helped boost our numbers again.
The paper petition was present at a number of raceway and between what we collected at Mildenhall on Friday, King's Lynn and Ringwood on Saturday, Arena Essex on Sunday and Dover on Monday we are confident we collected around another 1,500 signatures.
Furthermore we visited Donnington Raceway on Sunday for the British Touring Car event and while our efforts were dampened by the wet weather, which also blighted our efforts elsewhere this weekend, we were still able to distribute several thousand flyers promoting the on line petition and we are hopeful we might see the results of that in the future as the on line petition continues to creep towards the 13,000 barrier while with the paper petition signatures this weekend we believe we are somewhere in the region of 6,500 now taking us ever closer to the 20,000 mark.
Forgive us for not having more accurate numbers on the paper petition, we hope you can appreciate how busy things are at present but we hope to have more accurate information on this very shortly but in the meantime we would like to extend a special message of thanks to Julie, Gemma and Zoe who helped collect signatures at Mildenhall on Friday, Manuela who continued to help the campaign at Ringwood, Mendips and Taunton over the weekend, Stu, Simon and David for their assistance at Donnington and also a massive message of thanks to Trojan International for their help and hospitality at Ringwood Raceway, all at TSR for their continued high levels of support at King's Lynn this weekend and having forgot to say this last week all those at Spedeworth for their help at Aldershot on April 13.
Finally we would also like to send a particular message of thanks to those who have started to return personal petitions they have asked for and also to those who have asked for their own petition across the weekend. We believe the support of people such as this, taking their own petitions to attract the support of their friends, family and work colleagues will prove invaluable in our campaign and we again urge anyone who would like to do more to help to please read our How you can help section of this page
Renewed call for help with
Parliamentary Petition at Mildenhall and personal petitions (added April 15)
This week we are renewing our call for help with volunteers to assist collecting signatures on our petitions at both Mildenhall Stadium and to have their own petitions to collect names away from short oval racing events.
At our last two meetings at Mildenhall we have received fantastic help from Jo and Kelly who have been collecting signatures on the terracing and between them have boosted our paper petition by several hundred and this support is absolutely invaluable and we ideally could do with more volunteers. We don't need hundreds of volunteers, one or two a meeting would be more than enough and with one of our biggest meetings of the season coming up this weekend (Good Friday, April 18) we would love to have some volunteers to assist our campaign. If you would like to help us in this way please contact us on email@example.com or call the office on 07850 683953 and if we miss your call please leave a message and we will get back to you asap.
Also we are renewing our call for people to have their own petitions to collect signatures in their own circles, whether it be from friends, family, work colleagues or people at a club or social group they attend. We have had a great response to this with over 60 people already requesting a copy of the petition and already some have been returned boosting the paper petition by several hundreds and some have been in touch to say that hundreds more are coming. But as our target is simply to collect as many signatures as possible so we need as many people as possible to help in this way, even if you only collect 20 or so signatures, it will all help.
If you would like your own copy of the petition please contact us on the same avenues as above, please note we can post or e mail the petition to you.
Latest petition numbers (added
Numbers continue to grow with our Parliamentary Petition, the on line petition breaking the 12,000 barrier at the weekend while we collected the best part of 1,000 paper signatures again at the weekend at various circuits around the raceway.
We are sorry for not giving you a more exact number for the paper petition as time has prevented us from having an exact count up but we hope to do this very soon as we keep you up to date with the latest numbers. However we did collect over 500 signatures at Aldershot on Sunday (big thanks to Lorraine and Lisa and Chris and Dave for helping on Sunday) and over 200 more were collected at Mildenhall (big thanks to Kelly for her help and also thanks to Jo for her help on April 12 which we forgot to mention last week) plus we collected more in Scotland and we also had some more petitions which others had asked for returned which have yet to be counted but we believe we received around 1,000 more signatures this weekend taking the paper petition total into the 5,000 region.
The upcoming Easter weekend promises to be a big one for the petition as not only will the paper petition be available at several raceways, please check out the fixture list above to see where it will be available and if you are yet to sign and will be at one of these events please make the effort to sign if you would like to support our campaign, but also we are visiting Donnington Raceway for the British Touring Car Championship event armed with 10,000 leaflets to try and raise awareness of the on line petition as part of our drive to get word of the campaign out beyond the world of short oval motor racing, a move which will know will be critical if we are to be successful.
under 18s to support our Parliamentary Petition by writing to their local MP
(added April 8)
This week RDC Promotions are pleased to announce the next phase of our Parliamentary campaign as we call on the support of our under 18s who wish to help us call on the Government to not only intervene in the Supreme Court's ruling against Mildenhall Stadium to protect the raceway and all it's activities but to also change the law in our country to protect all sporting, leisure and arts venues from similar legal threats in the future.
As previously documented we believe the decision by the Supreme Court has far greater implications to just Mildenhall Stadium and even all motorsport in this country but also has the potential to threaten all venues which make a noise and many of these are enjoyed by people under the age of 18 who are not able to sign our petition but we feel are just as entitled to a say as those over 18 because it is their hobbies, pass times and passions which are under threat from this ruling as well.
Ever since we announced the launch of our petition we have spoke of our intention to formulate a plan for those not old enough to sign it so that they can get involved in the campaign and have their voices heard by Government as well and this week we begin the latest phase of our campaign as we call on all those under the age of 18 to support our fight by writing to Matthew Hancock, the MP for West Suffolk and their local MP to tell them why they should support our cause.
While we appreciate this is a big ask and a much larger taking than simply signing our petition either on line or on paper we believe if we can attract great support from under 18s in this way that it might pack a powerful punch when we take our petition to Parliament as well as spreading the message of our campaign to as many MPs in this country who ultimately will all together make any final decision on our call for change.
This call is not just for those who race at Mildenhall Stadium and those who enjoy our activities at the stadium, we need to involve as many people as possible so as well as calling on all those who enjoy the events at the stadium to write to Parliament we are looking for the support of anyone under the age of 18 whose hobby, pass time or passion might be effected by the Supreme Court ruling. Whether it be motor racing, football, rugby, live music or any other 'noise making' activity, we believe it is under threat from this ruling.
Furthermore we call on the young people of our sport and those who supporting our case to please help with this part of our campaign by encouraging their friends whose hobbies could be under threat to also support our cause.
We are urging people to send their
letters by e mail or post to both the MP for West Suffolk Matthew Hancock (whose
e mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
and postal address is House of Commons,
London SW1A 0AA), their own MP (if you need any help identifying your MP or finding their contact details please don't hesitate to ask us for assistance, ideally by e mailing email@example.com) and to also send us a copy of your letter as well (either by e mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or posting a copy to 15 Glamis House, Cameron Close, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 5BT) so we can keep a copy on file and present all the letters alongside our petition.
For your letter we would encourage you to include the following points
Your name, age and address and an explanation that you are writing because you are under 18 and unable to sign the petition
A brief outline of the situation that Mildenhall Stadium has lost its noise nuisance case against one household at the Supreme Court threatening the future of the stadium and potentially the future of any 'noise making' sports, leisure and arts venue (feel free to use any of the information on this page to help)
Why the decision might effect you and your hobby, whether you be linked to short oval motor racing and fear the decision will result in the closure of Mildenhall Stadium and other raceways in the future or that it might have a similar impact in another interest such as football, rugby, live music etc
Urge the MP to support our campaign for Parliament to intervene to ensure the future of Mildenhall Stadium and to change the law of the country to ensure this does not happen to any other venue in the future
If you need any help or advice on writing your letter please do not hesitate to ask for help, again ideally by e mailing email@example.com. Again we appreciate this is a big ask and a much more involved response than simply signing our petition but we firmly believe a significant number of letters from young people could be a huge boost to our campaign and we hope to rely on the support of all the young adults and children who are drivers and fans or our sport and beyond in our fight.
On-line petition breaks 10,000
barrier and latest petition number news (added April 8)
Some fantastic news in recent days as our on-line petition hit 10,000 names, little over one week after it was launched and at time of writing the on-line petition stands at just shy of 11,500 signatures which is a tremendous amount in such a short space of time.
Once again we would like to thank all those who have taken the time to support our campaign so far and would encourage everyone to continue spreading the word of our petition, the on-line one in particular to everyone they know and especially to any groups, clubs or sports which might be effected by the Supreme Court's decision as the support of as many like minded people as possible is likely to be crucial in our fight.
Our paper petition has also continued to grow in the last week and we are especially thankfully to the management at Coventry Stadium for their tremendous help and hospitality at their season opener at the weekend and to the many fans who supported our campaign with over 800 more signatures collected at Coventry Stadium alone last Saturday night.
Forgive us for not having an exact number of paper petition signatures at the weekend with more signatures collected at the season opener at Dover Raceway as well while it was also fantastic to see already some of those who had requested petitions themselves to attract even more signatures starting to be returned to as well further boosting our total number.
Even though we don't have an exact number for the paper petition at the moment it has passed the 4,000 mark and so coupled with the on-line petition we are now comfortably passed the 15,000 mark.
However, we still have a long way to go and again remind our supporters that petitions are available if you would like you own copy to try and gain more signatures to help support our campaign. This additional support is proving invaluable and already over 50 people have requested their own copy of the petition and as already mentioned some of these are already starting to be returned resulting in already hundreds more signatures being collected with others suggesting hundreds more will follow. Again this kind of support is likely to be crucial in the success of our campaign and if you would like to get involved in a similar way please take a look at our how you can help section of the website.
This weekend sees the campaign continue with the paper petition visiting Scotland for the first time at Cowdenbeath and Loch Gelly as well as other raceways in England (see our petition fixture list above for more details) and we hope those who have yet to sign will take the time to do so and if not please support the on-line petition instead by clicking on the banner at the top of this page.
On-line petition launched,
latest petition numbers and latest news (added April 1)
Last week saw our Parliamentary petition go on line (click the banner at the top of the page for the petition) and it was met with a tremendous response with around 4,000 signatures added inside 24 hours of its launch with the current number now standing at over 8,500 after little under one week.
This number is more than supported by the equally fantastic support our paper petition is receiving. After being available again at Mildenhall Stadium this past weekend the petition was also available at Standlake Arena, Grimley Raceway, King's Lynn Stadium and other racetracks and between the meetings at Mildenhall, Standlake and Grimley alone another 1,000 plus names were collected taking the total of paper petition signatures to around 3,000.
And this does not include other petitions which have started to fan out elsewhere. Following the launch of this page of the site last week we invited supporters who would like to help collect signatures to get in touch and again the response was fantastic. Almost 50 people have already asked for a copy of the petition to help collect more names and we are already hearing encouraging news from some of these people but please note the aforementioned 3,000 paper signatures only includes those we have to hand, not those which are forthcoming.
Still we encourage those eager to help more to read our how you can help section of this page, especially now the on line petition is available as we need to spread the availability of this as much as we can.
We do want to again stress that only UK residents over the age of 18 can sign either petition and please only sign the paper or on-line petition, NOT BOTH. The petition is subject to spot checks and failure to meet these requirements can jeopardise the entire campaign. On the subject of those under the age of 18, those eager to assist our campaign are encouraged to visit the website next week where we hope to confirm details of how you can help and get your voices heard as part of the campaign.
As well as collecting more signatures both on paper and on line this week we have enjoyed another encouraging week spreading the word of our campaign with our goal to now try and attract the support of those outside the world of short oval motor racing whose hobbies, pass times and passions are also threatened by the Supreme Court verdict against us.
We hope you will understand that we don't wish to make any of these plans public until we have something of more substance other than just interested parties but we can confirm that TV star Tiff Needell has shown great interest, both tweeting about the campaign and encouraging people to support it and contacting us to offer his support.
Elsewhere and the story has also made the British Speedway website and also the Racing Post with the story featuring on both their website and on the front page of their newspaper, encouraging all those in their sports to support the on line petition.
We are also attracting the support of many circuit based motorsport venues including Croft Raceway which handed out 2,000 fliers advertising our petition at their event at the weekend.
Our thanks again to everyone who continues to support our campaign and we will continue to bring you the latest news on this page next week.
Fantastic start to Parliamantry
Petition campaign (added March 26)
All of the Coventry family and all at RDC Promotions would like to extend a massive message of thanks to all those who helped get our campaign to the Houses of Parliament off to such a tremendous start at Mildenhall Stadium this weekend.
In the first weekend of collecting signatures we are delighted to report we already have over 1,800 names and while we have a long road ahead of us, this is a tremendous start and we would to thank everyone who took the time and made the effort to be among the first to sign the petition.
This weekend the campaign continues, once again at Mildenhall Stadium on Saturday (March 29) night and Michael and Sian Coventry intend to visit Standlake Raceway on Sunday, March 30 seeking the support of drivers and fans at the Oxford venue. Furthermore thanks to the support of our colleagues at TSR, the petition will also be available in the trackshop at King's Lynn on Saturday, March 29 as well.
And this is just the beginning. In April alone, as well as collecting signatures at all meetings at Mildenhall and Dover we currently have plans to have the petition available at venues including Coventry. Cowdenbeath, Loch Gelly, Aldershot, King's Lynn, Arena Essex and hopefully more and our plans will be detailed on the website.
Furthermore we have received some fantastic support from others eager to help us collect as many signatures as possible which already means the petition is starting to fan out to people outside of our sport who might want to support our cause. If you would like to do more to help then please look at our How You Can Help section on this page.
In the meantime things remain really busy behind the scenes as the campaign continues to gather momentum. We have begun work on establishing an e petition this week (see FAQs for more information) which we hope to have up and running by next week and we are also establishing support elsewhere which is hugely encouraging and again we hope to continue updating you on the campaign in the coming weeks on this page.
Petition to Parliament
announced (added March 21)
As mentioned in this weeks news update we have been busy behind the scenes in recent weeks planning our next move following our loss at Supreme Court with the hope of beginning our campaign at this weekend's One Wild Night event at Mildenhall Stadium on Saturday, March 22 and we are pleased to report that everything is now in place for this to happen and we hope we can call on the support of every single person heading to Mildenhall Stadium this weekend to help start our fight in grand fashion.
Many of you have all heard by now that earlier this month we were devastated to learn that we had lost the latest round of our legal case against two residents who moved into the property closest to the stadium in 2006 who claimed, despite sworn testimonies by the previous owner and estate agents to the contrary, that they did not know of the stadiums existence or its activities and within months started complaining about said activities, ultimately taking the case to the High Court in 2011, which they won before losing at the appeal court in 2012. As previously documented the decision by the Supreme Court not only threatens the future of Mildenhall Stadium and RDC Promotions but it threatens all motor racing venues as well as any sporting or arts venue which makes a noise, regardless of whether they have planning permission to do their activities and regardless of how long those activities have been going on for.
This was highlighted by the editorial piece written by Matt Prior in Autocar magazine who concluded his piece by saying: “The short of it is that you can move somewhere, uncaring about what might be nearby, because you can set about having it shut down when you get there.” click here to read the full story in Autocar magazine
As the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land we have now decided to take our fight to the Houses of Parliament.
Not only are we calling on the Government to intervene in this case to ensure stockcar and speedway continues at Mildenhall Stadium as it has done since 1975 but we want to change the law in this country.
We are calling on the Government to establish in statute that a person coming to an area should accept the existing activity taking place as the character of the area if it is operating legally and has already been granted planning permission. In short not only do we want to protect the future of Mildenhall Stadium and RDC Promotions but we want to ensure this does not happen to any other establish sporting or leisure venue in this country ever again.
Our fight to see this happens begins this weekend at Mildenhall Stadium and at this stage it is quite easy to support our campaign. We are starting a petition and we urge anyone at Mildenhall Stadium this weekend to please take the time and make the extra effort to find a copy of the petition and put their name on it. All we need is your name, address and signature.
Unfortunately as many of you know, we are quite a small team at RDC and therefore we don't have hundreds of people to bring the petition to you and so we encourage everyone who would like to support our campaign to please make the extra effort to find the petition and put their name on it. It is intended that drivers, and those with them, will be offered the opportunity to sign when they arrive at the stadium. We also hope to have som people in the stadium both before and during the meeting with the petition while copies will also be found at the new sweet stall (on the balcony on turn four) and at the Impact Video stall (by the pit gate).
Regarding the petition, there are some important details we must stress. Firstly only UK residents can sign it and you have to be at least 18-years-old (for supporters under 18, please bear with us, we fully intend to establish an avenue in which you can show your support very soon). You can only sign it once and you must not sign on someone else's behalf. Finally the information provided must be accurate as failure to do any of this can jeopardise the entire petition.
Please note this is just the start of our campaign and please keep an eye on the RDC website in the immediate future for both updates on how the campaign is going and our next moves as we try and spread the message of our campaign across the UK both inside our sport and beyond to all sports and activities which are potentially threatened by the verdict of the Supreme Court. We also ask anyone to read this to please make others aware, either by word of mouth or through social media.
But be under no illusions. Our fight will be an incredibly hard one and to get Parliament to change the law will be no easy task and only with the support of everyone connected to our sport will we stand a chance.
Full details of the petition can be found below and we sincerely hope we can rely on the support of everyone at Mildenhall Stadium this weekend, your continued support in the weeks to come and also the support of those unable to join us at the stadium this weekend, we promise there will be opportunities for you to support the cause very soon and again please keep an eye on the RDC website which will be regularly updated with information on our campaign in the coming weeks.
Heartfelt thanks again. The Coventry family
Mildenhall Stadium court case in Autocar magazine (added March 19)
The story of RDC Promotions’ and Mildenhall Stadium’s loss at Supreme Court against two residents over noise issues and the potential ramifications have been highlighted in a fantastic editorial piece in the March 12 edition of Autocar magazine, written by Matt Prior.
With kind permission and support from Matt the whole article can be found below and we hope everyone will take a few moments to read the story (it can also be found on the Autocar website by clicking here) as he has really done a superb job of highlighting some of the most important issues of this case.
In particular we would like to highlight his closing paragraph which says: “The short of it is that you can move somewhere, uncaring about when might be nearby, because you can set about having it shut down when you get there.”
The potential ramifications of the Supreme Court’s ruling reach far beyond the future of Mildenhall Stadium and RDC Promotions. Not only does their decision threaten the future of Mildenhall and RDC but it threatens the future of all short oval motor racing, all motor racing venues and any other sporting or leisure facility which dares to make a noise, regardless of whether they are entitled to do so or not and regardless of the support said venue has, it can be jeopardised by the smallest of minorities.
In his article, Matt Prior closes with the words: “This makes me cross”.
From the overwhelming support we have had far and the comments made, we firmly believe that it is not just ourselves and Matt who is ‘cross’ by the decision and this feeling is shared by hundreds and thousands of others who share our outrage at the decision by the Supreme Court.
Once again we would like to thank everyone who has shown their support to RDC and Mildenhall Stadium since the verdict was announced, whether it be by sending a message of support or supporting one of our events at the stadium and we are hopeful to see that trend continue this weekend with our One Wild Night event.
We would also like to thank those eager to help further for their patience as we continue to establish our next move. We hope to have more details on our next steps later this week so please keep an eye on the home page of the RDC website this week for an announcement and we are working very hard to have the next phase ready for action this Saturday night at Mildenhall. Once again, we need the support of everyone in our sport and beyond if we are to have any hope of fighting this and we hope we can call on that, hopefully starting this weekend.
Thanks again to Matt and Autocar magazine for their support.
from RDC regarding legal defeat at the Supreme Court (added March 5)
By now many of you will be aware that RDC Promotions have lost the latest hearing of our ongoing noise case at Mildenhall Stadium at the Supreme Court.
We are sorry for a lack of an official statement on this website since the verdict was announced, we hope you understand it has been a very difficult few days for the Coventry family and all at RDC Promotions while we come to terms with what has happened and the potential ramifications.
Rest assured everything possible is and will be done to fight this decision and we hope to have a more detailed statement very shortly with both more details of what has happened, why it has happened, the potential outcomes and how you might be able to help us fight this outrageous decision.
At the moment we would like to stress that all events at the stadium will go ahead as planned and will continue to do for as long as humanly possible, starting with greyhound racing at the stadium this Friday night (March 7) at 7.30pm followed by the Saturday night season opener for our National Banger and Stockcar season on March 8 at 6.30pm.
Your support at this time has never been more greatly appreciated or needed and we hope to see some of you this weekend
Heartfelt thanks again. The Coventry family
How you can
In addition to signing the petition and supporting what events at Mildenhall Stadium and RDC Promotions that they can, many have been kind enough to offer their additional help to our campaign and while ways people can help outside of this are somewhat limited there is vital ways in which you can help us even more in our campaign.
If you would like a copy of our petition to take to your family, friend, work colleagues or sport, club, hobby, activity which might also be threatened by the verdict of the Supreme Court we would love to hear from you. If you would like a petition for you to fill in with people who may not get a chance otherwise then please contact us, either by phoning 01268 412299 (ideally between 9.30am and 12.30pm Monday to Friday) or e mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you a copy of the petition either by post or e mail.
However we must stress to anyone willing to support us in this way that there are some critical steps which must be followed and failure to do so can jeopardise the whole campaign.
Those who sign must be the
Over the age of 18 and a resident in the UK
They can only sign the petition once
The information they give must be accurate
No one can fill the petition out on someone else's behalf
Again these steps are crucial as the petition will be subject to spot checks when it is completed and if any of the above criteria have not been met the whole campaign can be dismissed.
And while it might be stating the obvious, it is also absolutely critical that all petitions are returned to us as soon as possible. As people can only sign once, any lost or not returned petitions in turn mean signatures and support which will be lost from the campaign and we cannot afford to lose anyone's support.
On Line Petition
Our petition is now on line and can be signed either by clicking on the banner at the top of this page or by clicking here. The criteria is the same as the paper petition and please remember you can only sign one petition. The paper one OR the on line one and NOT BOTH and anyone who does jeopardises the entire campaign.
With the on-line petition we would please encourage supporters to help us by letting as many people know about it as possible, whether this too friends, family and work colleagues or spreading the message of its availability via any social networking avenues you use.
We are very keen to extend our campaign to those outside of short oval motor racing which hobbies and pass times may be threatened by this decision by the Supreme Court so please, if you are a member or know of any venue or club or sport which could be at the same risk please let them know about the petition and encourage their support.
Letters to MPs from under 18s
With those under the age of 18 unable to sign the petition on April 8 we launched a new element of our campaign for under 18s to show their support by writing to the MP for West Suffolk Matthew Hancock and their local MPs as well. For full information on this please click here
Volunteers to help collect
signatures at Mildenhall and Dover
Furthermore we are looking for volunteers to help us collect signatures at our events at Mildenhall Stadium and Dover Raceway. While we will obviously be present at our own events, many of you will be aware that the RDC team is a very small one and subsequently all of our staff have their own jobs at our events and while petitions will be places around the raceways we are looking for people to help us by going round the raceway collecting signatures. Please note, we do not need hundreds of volunteers, nor will we be asking anyone to do this at every meeting but if you are planning on attending one of our upcoming meetings and would be willing to spend some time helping us we would love to hear from you. Again you can contact us either by phoning 01268 412299 (ideally between 9.30am and 12.30pm Monday to Friday) or e mailing email@example.com
We anticipate that there will be more ways you can assist in the future so again please keep an eye on this page of the site for any developments and thanks again for your support.
Below is the full details of the petition itself and the full wording of what the petition calls for.
To the House of Commons.
The Petition of the owners and spectators of Mildenhall Stadium, West Row, Suffolk
Declares that the Petitioners are concerned that the Courts may unfairly discriminate against lawful and reasonable activity carried out with planning permission after it has already being accepted by residents in the area in favour of a person who comes to the area and objects to the activity despite the activity, motor racing in this case, being well established; further that the Petitioners believe that the consequences of this case may have repercussions for many other activities including stadiums which host football, rugby, cricket, the arts (including music venues, commercial and retail areas such as distribution centres and shopping malls); further that the Petitioners believe that all new developments, including the new Olympic stadium and the Millennium Dome, will not be protected by the law of prescriptive right; and further that the Petitioners believe that this is likely to result in a reluctance from individuals and businesses to invest in such important developments in the future.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to establish in statute that a person coming to an area should accept the existing activity taking place as the character of the area if it is operating legally and has already been granted planning permission, and further that the House requests that the Government intervenes in this case to allow stock car racing and speedway to continue at Mildenhall Stadium in accordance with planning permission awarded in 1975.
Here we answer some of the regularly asked questions we have been posed since the campaign begun, this will be updated in the future as no doubt there will be more questions to follow, if you cannot find the answer to your question here, then please get in touch either by phoning 01268 412299 (ideally between 9.30am and 12.30pm Monday to Friday) or e mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can sign the petition?
Anyone who is a UK resident and over the age of 18 can sign. However you can only sign the petition once and the information you give must be accurate. Failure to do so can jeopardise the entire campaign as once the petition is completed it will be subject to spot checks and if any of the information does not meet the criteria it can result in the petition being thrown out by parliament. Please note you can only sign the paper or on line petition. YOU CAN NOT SIGN BOTH.
What if I am under the age of
We understand we have a lot of support from those under the age of 18 who enjoy the facilities at Mildenhall Stadium and whose hobbies and pass times could also be threatened by this ruling. While you are unable to sign the petition we are eager to demonstrate the levels of support we have from young people and hope to form a separate petition which unfortunately won't be officially included in our campaign as such but we hope will go some way towards showing Parliament the levels of support we have from young people who we feel deserve a say in this matter.
What are the possible
ramifications for Mildenhall Stadium from this judgement?
We do not know exactly because these have yet to be decided but we have to be braced for the worst possible outcome. The decision will now go back to the High Court judge who originally ruled against us in February 2011. Bearing in mind he ruled that the stadium only be able to run 12 events over a new noise limit a year between designated hours on Sunday afternoons only. The stadium currently runs in excess of 40 motor racing events a year and so a restriction like this would make it impossible for the stadium to continue. Furthermore having lost the Supreme Court case we now face the danger of being made to pay full costs of the case which are estimated to exceed £2million. It goes without saying that even if we were able to continue under any new restrictions, if we are made to pay for these costs it would financially ruin our business.
Who else does this effect?
We firmly believe this decision by the Supreme Court has the potential to impact all sport, leisure and arts venues which make a noise and puts them at risk of being restricted or worse by people who simply don't like the noise, regardless of how long they have lived there, how long the venue has been in existence and whether it has permission to do what it's doing or not. Put bluntly if Mildenhall Stadium can be put at risk like this with the case we have is any venue safe? Again we draw you to the comment made by Matt Prior of Autocar magazine. “The short of it is that you can move somewhere, uncaring about when might be nearby, because you can set about having it shut down when you get there.” This is what we need to stop.
Surely Katherine and Ray
Shields knew about the stadium when they bought the property in 2006?
Despite their claims in the media that they did not know about the existence of the stadium let alone its activities, sworn testimonies were presented at the High Court by the previous owner of the property (Fenland) and the estate agents involved in the sale that the couple were fully aware of stadium and its activities. The couple have also gone on record in the press claiming they did not want this case to go as far as it has despite it being the decision of themselves and their legal team to take the case to the High Court originally. Finally the Coventry family would like to go on record to state that no one in the Coventry family, anyone who works with or is connected to Mildenhall Stadium or RDC Promotions has even been questioned in connection with the suspected arson which burned down Katherine and Ray Shields' property in June 2010. The property remains inhabitable and the couple had not been living at the property for months before the fire following an alleged vandalism attack, which again no-one at RDC, Mildenhall Stadium or the Coventry family has ever been questioned about. In fact while we lost our noise case at the High Court in 2011 we were successful in the case of aggravated harassment brought against us by Ray and Katherine Sheild. Furthermore their claims that we were unapproachable when they first raised their complaints are complete lies.
What about the noise barrier
built at the stadium in 2008/9?
The noise barrier built at the stadium was done so at the recommendation of the local council following the complaints of Raymond and Katherine Shield, despite the stadium having full planning permission to run all its events and never going outside of those rights. The noise barrier, which cost in excess of £70,000 to build, goes above and beyond the recommendations of what the council requested. However rather than being the end of the matter, the construction of the fence was used against us in the High Court with the legal team of Raymond and Katherine Shield arguing it was 'an admission of guilt' even though we'd been asked to build it by the council.
Is it just two people who have
Yes. The stadium not only has tremendous support from all those who enjoy and use its facilities but also from the residents of Mildenhall and the road leading up to the stadium as we have tremendous support from them, many of whom have contacted us to voice their anger at the decision. Sadly it seems the views of two people have overshadowed those of the hundreds of thousands of people who enjoy the stadium whose views have been completely overlooked
What about the airbase next
door, surely that makes more noise than Mildenhall Stadium?
It was deemed at the High Court that the noise made by the aircraft and RAF Mildenhall does not constitute noise nuisance but even if it did, the airbase is covered by the civil aviation act allowing it to operate as it does. However an front page story in the Bury Free Press in March 2014 reported that since 2003 there has been 1,110 complaints over noise regarding Mildenhall and Lakenheath airbases yet they have been deemed to not be a noise nuisance yet with only two complaints Mildenhall Stadium is. We hope this story might assist our campaign.
Why wasn't a petition started
Quite simply it couldn't. Parliamentary petitions such as this may not begin all the while the legal case is live so we could not start this until the court case was completed.
of events and background information
A rough time line of the events which have brought us to the stage we are at now.
Mildenhall Stadium is built, initially only staging speedway as a motor sport
Raymond and Katherine Shield make their first complaint against the stadium having bought the property nearest the stadium (Fenland) a few months before claiming they were unaware of the stadiums existence and its activities. Sworn testimonies of the previous owner of the property and the estate agents involved in the sale say this is untrue.
The noise barrier is completed at the stadium. It's construction is recommended by the council and costs in the region of £70,000. Rather than being the end of the matter it is instead used against the stadium as an 'admission of guilt' at the High Court.
Fenland is subject to an arson attack. Katherine and Raymond Shields were not living in the property at the time and had not been for several months. The property remains uninhabitable to this day.
The High Court rules in favour of Katherine and Raymond Shields. In addition to being made to paid £20,000 in damages and court orders an injunction ruling the stadium can only run 12 events over a designated noise level a year between selected hours on Sunday afternoons only. The decision is fought and the right to appeal is granted which in turn freezes the decision made by the High Court.
The Court of Appeal overturns the decision by the High Court and furthermore recommends that the case goes no further. Despite this Katherine and Raymond Shields continue and take the case to the Supreme Court who, despite the recommendation of the Court of Appeal agree to hear it.
The Supreme Court rules in favour of Katherine and Raymond Shields. The case is now to return to the High Court judge to determine restrictions and costs which could potentially close down the stadium.
RDC Promotions announce their campaign to fight the Supreme Court decision with a petition to be presented to Parliament calling on Parliament to intervene in the case to protect the future of Mildenhall Stadium and all its activities and to also change the law of the country to ensure action like this cannot be taken out against any other established sporting, leisure or arts venues. In the first weekend over 1,800 signatures are collected.
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