By Ben Blackledge

PEOPLE would rather keep a busy motocross track than see it torn down for controversial housing, the threatened business claims.

Culham MX Park, a motocross track over 2km long on the village outskirts, will be forced to close if plans to expand the nearby science park go ahead following a public consultation.

The plans are controversial as they require developing the ‘Green Belt’, an area normally protected to prevent urban growth into the countryside.

The track has been a local feature for 35 years and is well regarded on the motocross circuit, according to a Culham MX Park spokesperson, with each meet drawing nearly 400 riders and between 3-5,000 spectators.

The the council has not offered any alternatives to reposition the motocross track and the local community want it to stay put says the spokesperson, who asked not to be named.

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He said: “Locals would rather see the motocross track stay than 3,500 houses built on Green Belt land.”

Local resident and member of the Save Culham’s Green Belt campaign group, Toby Pejkovic, said: “This [provides] outdoor recreation for thousands of people, [including] many youngsters, who come from far afield -- this is precisely what the Green Belt should be about.

“The area of the track will be part of the green spaces under current plans, however the track will be too close to houses if it was to remain and the noise would affect the residents of the new development.

“The council has the power to make agricultural land be worth 1m per acre instead of 12k by including land in their plan. This is a fundamental problem of the current system.”

South Oxfordshire District Council’s Local Plan lays out guidance for new developments and planning applications up until 2034.

The plan would add 3,500 houses to the Culham area, roughly equating to a town the size of Wallingford.

The plan would require building on Green Belt land at seven of the eight proposed Oxfordshire locations.

The Local Plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State, along with the Public’s comments, for inspection.

Other sites in the plan include Chalgrove Airfield, about which government agency Homes England announced details last week.