Speedway could make a comeback to Norwich with proposals being drawn up for a stadium at the Norfolk showground.

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The Norwich Evening News understands the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA) has been in discussions for several months with a tenant who wants to build a track at the eastern edge of the showground at the former driving range, near the Costessey Park and Ride.

It would include a track, pits and stands.

Five times world champion and Norwich Stars favourite Ove Fundin, the Flying Fox from Sweden, is expected to return to Norwich from his home in the south of France this week.

Former Norwich Lord Mayor and sports champion for Norwich City Council Roy Blower, who is backing the proposals, said: “Ove Fundin is returning this week to be part of an important announcement on Thursday.”

The Flying Fox drew crowds of thousands when speedway was at is peak in the city at the Firs stadium.

The new stadium would be built on land leased by the RNAA, but no speedway races would take place if there was another event at the showground.

Speedway meets would take place on Saturday nights from 7.30pm to 10pm.

To measure possible increases in traffic from a speedway track, engineers Richard Jackson were asked by the developers to survey Peterborough speedway on March 19.

They found around 743 vehicles arriving for the meet.

In a letter to the Highway Agency in Bedford and Norfolk County Council, the engineers argued the impact on the busy Longwater Lane junction by the showground would be “negligible”.

But Norfolk County councillor for Costessey, Tim East, said, while he was a fan of speedway as a spectator, the location for this track was “completely inappropriate”.

He said the junction was already at capacity, and he would “implacably” oppose any speedway plans.

He said: “There are huge tailbacks, gridlock and congestion generated now, without this additional speedway traffic adversely impacting on and obstructing this area.

“The speedway event will generate noise, nuisance and disturbance not only on speedway nights, but also on training nights.”

A housing development at Lodge Farm is also supposed to extend to the edge of the land opposite the showground.

A spokesman for the RNAA said: “This idea is currently at a very early stage.

“A feasibility study is being carried out before any decision can be made on whether a proposal will put forward.”

Former RNAA show director Gavin Alston was approached by a consortium to build a speedway track in the grand ring in the mid 1980s, but the plans proved unsuccessful.

What do you think of the proposals? Write to us at Letters, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk.

27 comments

  • Might as well put a greyhound track there too.

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    billytheolympicbookie

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Great news - Surely this is the ideal location for the new track near the southern bypass !

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    spark

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • I don't suppose councillor East could tell a speedway bike from a penny farthing. Of course, the fact that his house is around 400 metres as the crow flies from the proposed site hasn't clouded his judgement at all. Nimby!

    Report this comment

    robotsthatcare

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • I'm sorry but if the show ground can handle 50000 people a day for the royal show then it can handle a 1000 people once a week on a saturday night . tim east is a nimby

    Report this comment

    david106

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Great news,sport that all the family can go and watch without the yobbo element. About time Norwich had some other sporting event to regularly watch, other than football. The Norfolk show ground is woefully under used and as regards traffic, if you put on an event you want people to attend. The traffic and congestion caused by the football right in the town centre is far more inconvenient , so how come that is deemed acceptable. I live in Cossey, so I like the idea of speedway nearby, then I won't have far to travel. Bring it on.

    Report this comment

    caninedep

    Friday, July 27, 2012

  • Just addressing the noise aspect, as mrbluesky points out, speedway bikes now use silencers to "muffle" the sound. As for the Lodge Farm devleopment, won't there be 4 lanes of traffic from the A47 between them and the track, surely creating far more noise than the speedway? .

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    Andy

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • I would also like to ask which speedway track the councillor goes to? Kings Lynn maybe? Or Peterborough?

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    weareyellows49

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Where do I pre book my tickets?? I cant wait.

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    Skoalbandit

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • how do you go about complaining about underhanded tactics in the council ? to a pose the speedway yet grant permission to tesco's on which ever site they choose stinks of bribery . this is not slander but a question , how do you go about it ?

    Report this comment

    adinorwich

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • I think it'sThats Great news for sports fans in norwich,I did to go to the old norwich speedway in the early sixtys, And i think this local concillor lives in the past when he states it would cause a noice & a nuisance problem,Speedway has come along way since the sixtys,The silencers on the speedway bikes now help to reduce the sound problems of the past,Also as the meetings would be held after 7.30pm,Thus there would not be much problem with traffic to the site,Just think we are only talking about 2000 to 5000 attending these meetings,Not like when the Royal show is held or Pop concerts are held which can be 10000 to 80000,So i ask this local councillor or any other planning people at Costessy parish council and local residents & norfolk county council to give this a fair hearing before pre judging any problems,If there was a bid for a stadium at the showground,I have visted Peterborough showground which stage speedway meetings there and there is no problem with staging speedway and seems to have no problem from local residents for over 35 years of staging speedway,So lets hope a Family type sport like Speedway can return to Norwich at last

    Report this comment

    mrbluesky

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Speedway may return to Norwich - about time! The underused Norfolk Showground has excellent road links, being just off the A47. Plus there is a Park & Ride opposite. Norwich City FC is currently the only sporting venue available. Speedway would be a welcome addition to the city, for families to enjoy a sociable day out. I don't mind speedway on my doorstep, so let the building commence!!!

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    Welshie

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

  • I find it difficult to comprehend how the local councillor can have any beef about traffic at that location, the norfolk show alone generates disruption all day every day its on. Maybe he needs to thinknof the bigger picture and think of the money generated with visiting supporters, and local supporters too. Would he have ncfc closed down due to traffic and the chaos it causes when ncfc are playing at home? Why can't these people see a much bigger picture than traffic once a week going to this proposed venue, out of rush hour I hasten to add.

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    weareyellows49

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • This local Councillor worries me as he is our local Councillor, as it would appear that he is not aware of the amount of traffic at that junction, at that time, one wonders how much he is aware what goes on in Costessey! I for one consider this to be an excellent location, it would bring in revenue for the show ground. I agree with other comments, there is a football ground in the center of Norwich, which turns out at a busy time, on a busy road, you don't hear to many complaints about that

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    highborrans

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • This sounds good as it is the only sport I support and I will definately attend meetings when I am not working. As has been metioned there was a large speedway fan base in Norwich and with a local track again I feel sure it will have great support. Good of Ove to come back, he really was the Norwich star.

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    Christopher Neave

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • a great plan that should be welcomed by the councill with open arms ! but as usual , unless its a tesco the council will say no ! its also a great idea if a dog track could be included . think of the jobs , revenue and tax they could both generate . sadly the council is very short sighted . the show ground has so much to offer ,why not broaden its uae

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    adinorwich

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Brilliant. Not everyone likes football, there is not a lot else going on in the way of spectator sport, Norwich had a big speedway fan base and not everyone can travel to Lynn.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Great idea!!! Bring it on...perhaps at the same time we can remove Tim East who is a waste of space!

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    dave123

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

  • Look on Norfolk county council website and Mr East's address is clearly shown as public information. Then look on Google earth at the didtanc (in a straight line)! between Mr East's address and the proposed track. You will then see that robots thatcare is probably completely correct. Also, as catalonia 13 asks.... how many parishioners that he is supposed to be 'representing' has he consulted? As a supporter of speedway, it would also be interesting to know how many meetings he has been to in the last 12 months?

    Report this comment

    IT Man

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

  • I remember the Firs circuit. Lovely smell of Castrol `R`. Hope this happens, wherever it ends up (in the Norwich area).

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

  • " Norfolk County councillor for Costessey, Tim East, said he would “implacably” oppose any speedway plans." I thought councillors were supposed to represent their parishoners! wonder if he's even consulted them ....?

    Report this comment

    catalonia13

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • It sounds like yet another local politician is completely out of touch. Talking of which, I heard that Richard Bacon has retired, is this true? It's certainly about time.

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    john smith

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

  • Is the local councillor on something. If Speedway does come to the venue this would attract up to 2,000 people. The county show there has 20,000 to 30,000 people . I wonder if he knows what makes the most conjestion,noise,nuisance and disturbance the Speedway or the county shows. Possibly 25 meetings a year ,2 hours per meeting totals 50 hours per year, hardly earth shattering is it?

    Report this comment

    roger payne

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Mr East's opposition is surprising as he lives about 100 yards away from a current Elite League Rider! Representing his constituents? Is he hell

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    robotsthatcare

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • I hope they invite Billy Bales to the announcement as well.

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    Nick Ward

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

  • This would be great to have. Let's hope our local MPs can give it some support too.

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    john smith

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • It's interesting to read on the Lynn news website that the promotion from the kings lynn stars have been invited to this meeting. I wonder if they will have any input

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    weareyellows49

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

  • I find it remarkable that our local councillor states a showground that has parking capacity for thousands of vehicles, is out of town beside a dual carriageway (to clear vehicles quickly) and which is rarely used is seen as an "inappropriate location", could he clarify where exactly is a good location then?. His main gripe appears to be about additional traffic, could I remind him that speedway meetings take place about 7.30pm when rush hour traffic will have cleared and are completed around 9.30pm. A stadium in Norwich is long overdue and would be well supported, lets hope a few narrow minded individuals don't stop the hopes and enjoyment of many.

    Report this comment

    Andy

    Monday, July 23, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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