In the middle of Surrey lies a small private airfield known as Dunsford Aerodrome. It’s currently under threat as property developers Rutland Group, backed by government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland, are trying to push through a project to build a new £44m eco-village on the airfield. As you’d expect, local residents are up in arms and are battling to prevent the project going ahead. But why would we hot hatch fans care?
Because Dunsford Aerodrome is better known as the Top Gear test track, that’s why! The airfield is rented out by Top Gear for all of its on-track testing and has come to be something of a household name (well, it is in my household anyway). It’s become such a legend that its even going to be included in Gran Turismo 5.
Things don’t look good for the track as the planned development is currently waiting for a decision to be made by a government minister, due before 28th September ’09. If you’re into conspiracy theories you will be interested to know that the development is being backed by RBS, a bank that is 70% owned by the Treasury. The Treasury is/was run by our current Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who was recently described by Jeremy Clarkson as “a one-eyed Scottish idiot“. You can imagine Mr Brown’s glee at sticking one over one Jeremy, as well as filling some of the gaping hole in RBS’s finances with a profitable development like this.
Should you wish to join in on the protests against the development you can visit the Stop Dunsfold Town website. You can also have a look at the so-called Masterplan on another website setup by the developers.
Good luck to the protesters!