Hornton villagers have reacted with anger to claims by organisers of a nearby motorcross track that the operation is not noisy.
Brian Pounder, who runs the Wroxton Motocross Track, said in the Banbury Guardian last week that the group’s own noise recordings showed blackbird song to be louder than the motorcycles racing.
Hornton Parish Council has complained to Cherwell District Council because under ‘permitted rights’, the track is only allowed 14 race days a year and villagers claim up to 28 races are held. Organisers say they are allowed more than 14 competitions.
Some villagers say they hear the noise inside and out on race days. One said he had to hold a garden party inside on Sunday because of the relentless sound of bikes.
Roger Bellamy of Millers Lane said: “The club appears to deny there should be any restriction on their hobby.
“The noise can really be intrusive. I used to live next to the flightline for RAF Brize Norton and can honestly say the noise here is more intrusive by volume and duration. The allotments on the hill above the village are especially prone. You can even understand the commentary and details of each race,” he said.
“This wouldn’t be allowed close to Banbury so why should Hornton suffer? With most meets taking place in the warmer months it’s a blight on our outdoor environment at weekends. I’d rather have HS2 – it’d be a lot quieter.”
Mr Bellamy said he was not against motocross but he felt this operation should be contained within the 14 days limit the parish council is seeking to have confirmed.
Chris Woodcock said: “I’ve lived in Hornton since 1993 and never known noise disturbance like it. We hear it very distinctly in our garden and in the house if windows are open. This motocross location is in open countryside where the noise does carry and it goes on for most of the day. It has been worse in the last couple of years.”
Peter Joiner said: “My main concern is that they are now a large national operation and there may be plans to build a large grandstand with an even louder tannoy system operating every weekend.”
Roger Corke said: “We used to call the motocross events the ‘buzzy bees’ because that’s what they sounded like. Now, the engines are much more powerful, louder and the noise pollution sounds as though we live near Brands Hatch.”
Mr Pounder said the majority of bikes were now four-stroke rather than two-stroke but that for all machines, the noise limit is 96 decibels maximum at the trackside.
He said sound readings over the two days of racing this weekend showed that noise in the village was mainly trees rustling. “It was background noise and trees rustling; you couldn’t hear the bikes,” he said.
Mr Pounder said he has been invited to speak at the next parish council meeting on September 8.
Cherwell District Council is still investigating the matter.