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'I saw no tyre marks' - Father wins battle with council over son's motorcycle riding on his land

PUBLISHED: 15:02 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:00 15 May 2019

Google Earth image showing what appears to be a motorcycle track in Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen. Picture:

Google Earth image showing what appears to be a motorcycle track in Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen. Picture:

Google

A father has won a battle with his local council to allow his son to ride motorcycles on his land.

Google Earth image showing what appears to be a motorcycle track on land off Stow Road in Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen. Picture: GoogleGoogle Earth image showing what appears to be a motorcycle track on land off Stow Road in Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen. Picture: Google

King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council saw fit to take enforcement action against Marcus Mallett, of Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen, around the use of motorcycles on land off Stow Road.

The council argued that this was a breach of regulations as it was considered a change of use of the land requiring planning permission.

An enforcement notice was issued calling for an end to any motorcycle riding on the land and demolition of 'jumps' which had been installed, which Mr Mallett maintained were simply "just earth and dirt".

However, the council's enforcement has now been overturned by the Planning Inspectorate, after Mr Mallett appealed against it.

Google Earth image showing what appears to be a motorcycle track on land off Stow Road in Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen. Picture: GoogleGoogle Earth image showing what appears to be a motorcycle track on land off Stow Road in Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen. Picture: Google

The decision puts an end to a dispute which began in September 2017, after the borough council began investigating complaints about the use of the land off Stow Road.

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The view of the council was that Mr Mallett's son was using the land to train for competitive motorcycling and thus required planning permission.

However, on visiting the site, planning inspector Debbie Moore said she could find "very little evidence of regular use by motorcycles".

Google Earth image showing what appears to be a motorcycle track on land off Stow Road in Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen. Picture: GoogleGoogle Earth image showing what appears to be a motorcycle track on land off Stow Road in Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen. Picture: Google

She said: "I saw no tyre tracks or any evidence of earth erosion which is likely to be the result of motorbikes following a set route around the field.

"I saw that earth had been piled into mounds, which were restricted to one part of the land, but these were randomly located. They were not laid out around a discernible track, nor were there any obvious jumps.

"It is clear from the evidence that the appellant's son competes to a relatively high standard and uses the land for motorcycling on an occasional basis. However, I disagree that use of the land amounts to motorcycle racing including practising and training."

In his submission to the appeal, Mr Mallett wrote: "No racing takes place, nor does practice or training for any such events. Any riding of motorcycles undertaken on the land is purely for recreational or leisure purposes."

King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council and Mr Mallett did not wish to comment further on the dispute.

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