March 3, 2022 3.00 pm

It’s lights out and away it goes – Research centre gets green light

Councillors had a site visit

Councillors have approved plans for a green research centre at Blyton Park Driving Centre after visiting the site to see the cars in action.

West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee voted in favour of allowing the development on land off Kirton Road, Blyton, Gainsborough which will develop electric and autonomous vehicle technologies and include two wind turbines and ground mounted solar panels.

The committee had previously deferred for a site visit following complaints from neighbours about potential noise from electric vehicles.

Chairman Councillor Ian Fleetwood said the visit had been “worthwhile”.

“We viewed the track from various locations and saw where the new building was going to go. It put into perspective where the noise might be coming from.”

Councillor Jeff Summers, who himself drives an electric vehicle, said he was happy to approve the plans, while Councillor Angela White pointed out that some of the objections were mainly due to the existing usage – which was not itself under discussion.

The building will include a control centre, new garages on the ground floor with access to the track in a ‘pit lane’ arrangement, and four office/conference suites.

Each garage will include a battery wall to charge the cars from the renewable energy sources.

The business will provide a total of 12 full-time equivalent jobs.

Aerial view of the application site for the racing search centre in Blyton.

Alistair Wood, agent for the applicant told the committee: “The development will diversify and improve the existing local business and will allow for development of new automotive technologies at the site.”

“The accommodation of electrical vehicle technology at the site will only result in a net reduction in the noise, from a similar number of vehicles using the circuit.”

He said the business currently operates at full capacity and was successful with noise levels monitored daily .

The council has received objections from local residents raising concerns including longer working hours, noise impacts, the impact on nearby listed buildings and the impact of the wind turbines.

Gordon Tulley, the owner of the nearby Respect Green Burial Parks said the increased noise would come from the tyres the vehicle use rather than the engines.