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'World class' racing circuit bid

PUBLISHED: 12:10 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:01 07 July 2010

Plans to turn a Norfolk racing circuit into a world-class motor sport venue are back on track after the resolution of noise nuisance worries.

A scheme to extend the 1.

Plans to turn a Norfolk racing circuit into a world-class motor sport venue are back on track after the resolution of noise nuisance worries.

A scheme to extend the 1.952 mile track at Snetterton to accommodate everything bar Formula 1 cars was first mooted more than three years ago by MotorSport Vision boss Jonathan Palmer.

Now a spokesman for the ex-F1 driver, whose company owns the south Norfolk circuit, said the planning application to upgrade and reconfigure the track to FIA grade two levels will be submitted to Breckland Council next month.

The news comes a week after officials from the motorsport business and the district council ended long-running legal proceedings and signed up to a range of measures to control the noisiest vehicles that use the Snetterton circuit.

The peace deal means that the historic venue, which currently hosts top racing events such as the British F3/GT championships, British Superbike Championship and British Touring Cars, will be able to attract international events such as the World Touring Car Championship, LeMans Endurance races and Formula 2 races in the future - if given planning permission.

As well a change of layout and the creation of a 1km track inside the circuit for training and longer races, MotorSport Vision also want to create a new business park to further boost the A11 corridor's motorsport and advanced engineering sectors.

Mr Palmer's company, which bought the site in 2004 and owns four other UK circuits, first expressed his vision to turn Snetterton into a “vibrant motorsport hub for the

21st century” three years

ago.

He was unavailable for comment last week, but previously said: “We want to have a circuit where people can come along and enjoy a fantastic experience at a top quality venue and be the destination point for car and bike enthusiasts in East Anglia and beyond.”

Alastair Rhind, project manager of Breckland Council's Rural Enterprise Valley (REV) project, said the Snetterton track expansion would be “absolutely huge” for the local economy. He added that MotorSport Vision could “go-ahead in confidence” after a noise abatement order was ended after agreeing to limit unsilenced vehicle usage on the track, and to create a noise barrier to address years of complaints from local residents.

“We cannot pre-empt any planning decision, but we have been working with MotorSport Vision since the REV project started at the end of 2006 and the project could not come sooner enough for us.”

“It will hopefully attract big names in the motorsport and engineering sectors to Snetterton and will create inward investment in

Norfolk and nationwide attention to turn Snetterton into a beacon of excellence in motorsport. It will benefit the whole region, not just Breckland and Norfolk,” said Mr Rhind.

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