The noise regulation restricting Autodrom Most is illegal, says the regional authority

15.11.2017 08:15

On 3rd November, the Ústí nad Labem Regional Authority cancelled a decision taken by the municipality of Most on imposing a fine on the company AUTODROM MOST for a breach of a generally binding noise control ordinance. Simultaneously, the authority discontinued administrative proceedings conducted between the city and the race track operator. There shall be no further right of appeal against this decision. Despite winning this dispute, Autodrom continues to carry out activities aimed at limiting the noise emitted to the surrounding areas as much as possible.

“The regional authority has confirmed what we had said since the very beginning. I mean to say that the regulation is illegal. Actually, the regulation, as a by-law standard, assumes the right to regulate activities that are governed by the law,” says lawyer Petr Zach who has appeared on behalf of Autodrom.

Furthermore, the regional authority has identified itself with Autodrom’s argument that the administrative authority had not secured objective evidence and had accepted testimony given only by one group of witnesses, namely local anti-Autodrom campaigners. The regional authority has also stated that the noise control ordinance seems to be purposefully aimed against Autodrom.

The Autodrom complex was built between 1978 and 1983 on the site of a former opencast coal-mine completely outside any residential area. A later construction of family houses was only made possible by a change in the zoning plan. Consequently, the landholders who bought their lots for the purpose of construction of houses were informed about the fact that they were building their houses near a motor-racing circuit producing noise.

According to the decision taken by the regional authority, the city council, when drawing the ordinance, focussed only on the noise emitted from the Autodrom complex while ignoring other usual activities generating noise such as lawn clipping or normal traffic on surface communications. “We considered this approach as discriminatory, and it’s good that the regional authority has realized this fact as well,” Petr Zach added.

Josef Zajíček, the AUTODROM MOST Chairman of the Board of Directors, has appreciated the decision taken by the regional authority. He promised not to compromise on the measures adopted and implemented by Autodrom in its effort to eliminate the noise emerging from the complex operations. “There are several gradual steps concerning operating hours at the complex, limiting some kinds of activities, and tightening the noise standards for cars and motorcycles at race tracks. In association with renowned experts, we have been looking for the ways how to reduce noise pollution while, at the same time, not endangering the existence of the company,” he said adding that investment in noise reduction measures will require dozens of millions of crowns.

The Most municipal council approved the noise control ordinance early in March 2017. The municipality imposed a fine amounting to 35,000 crowns on the Autodrom operator on the grounds that the noise emission from the vehicles taking part in a free session on the main racing circuit allegedly disturbed a part of inhabitants living in the neighbourhood of the Autodrom complex from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday 2nd April. However, the Ústí nad Labem Regional Authority cancelled this fine and discontinued the action.

The Most municipal council had commenced administrative proceedings against the company AUTODROM MOST for purported breaches of the noise control ordinance several times but no further proceedings have been finished yet. “We don’t expect the arguments taken by the appeal authority to change when judging any more cases of alleged violation of the noise control ordinance. Any other proceedings should by discontinued, too, in view of the grounds of the decision,” lawyer Zach added.

 


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