A motocross organiser who has been locked in a battle with former Conservative leader William Hague over noise from his track says it is "brilliant" that a court has ruled he can run races in the area for up to 18 days a year.

Castle Caereinion Motocross Club's David Cooke appealed against Powys County Council's noise abatement order to only allow six races a year - instead of around 23 - after complaints made by Lord and Lady Hague and their gardener that the races at Nantfforch Farm, Cyfronydd were too noisy, too frequent, and run without advance notice.

Lady Ffion Hague, who was in New York as the case was heard by Welshpool magistrates this week, said in a statement read out in court that the "constant buzzing" of motorbike engines from 10am to 4pm on weekends could be heard inside the home they have shared since 2015.

She described the sound as "like being near a noisy wasp’s nest or chainsaws", adding that it interferes with the couple's enjoyment of their Montgomeryshire mansion, whose garden is opened for charities during the year.

Lady Hague said she accepted that on occasions there would be noise from the motocross events but in 2017 it seemed to increase and races began to run across two consecutive days on weekends, rather than single race days.


"There is a constant thump and revving of engines," she said. 

"If the track is in use there is no chance of sitting outside to read a book.

"We both appreciate the rural area. There is the inevitable noise from agriculture and the A458 but the constant buzzing of bikes is increasingly intrusive."

County Times: Nantfforch Farm where Castle Caereinion Motocross Club meets.Nantfforch Farm where Castle Caereinion Motocross Club meets. (Image: Kieron Cooke/Castle Caereinion Motocross Club)

Lady Hague said that on occasions she and her husband would leave the house completely to go for a long walk or go in the car to get away from the sound of motorbikes.

The court also heard from the Hagues' gardener Matthew Shanahan who made a complaint to Powys County Council months after moving to a property near Cyfronydd Hall.

"We moved to the area in May [2022] and it's not a very good look to complain about things," he said. "It's like complaining about church bells. It's not how I wanted to start living in the community but I was at my wits end.

"I had been working hard all summer long and without getting the chance rest, I was getting tired and irritable."

Environmental officer Carwyn Jones said he had regular correspondence about the noise with Lord Hague, and monitoring equipment was installed at Cyfronydd Hall.

Data from two days in January showed that the noise was a "nuisance" and was double the background level.

Mr Jones said allowing 14 races a year with "that level of noise would far exceed what’s acceptable".

County Times: David Cooke said having 12 more races than Powys Council had wanted was brilliant.David Cooke said having 12 more races than Powys Council had wanted was brilliant. (Image: Anwen Parry/Powys County Times)

But Mr Cooke, an active supporter from Newtown of motocross for 30 years, said he wouldn't hold events if he considered them to be a nuisance and said the council's order to host only six races a year was "not worth doing", and said he called Mr Jones about the readings.

"I did everything to get his readings," he said.

The farm, owned by Castle Caereinion Community Council chairman Nigel Bowen, has hosted motocross for more than 20 years and was subject to a noise abatement order in 2006.

He told the court that motocross events were stopped, postponed, or rearranged for funerals, weddings, and the Hagues' garden parties "as a mark of respect".

Mr Bowen, who has been farming for more than 50 years, said that "quite a lot" of his neighbours enjoy the motocross, but acknowledged two-day events would "probably" impact people's enjoyment of their homes.

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The Hagues' next-door neighbour Margaret Jerman said the noise was part of life in Cyfronydd, calling the appeal "a big waste of money".

Magistrates varied the notice abatement order and allow 12 days on the original track and six days on the maize track - a maize field used for winter events - each year.

The days must not be consecutive or both tracks used on the same days. All bikes must be tested, and records taken of the noise levels before going on the track. Where possible race organisers should publicise meetings for the community.

Chair of the magistrates' bench Judith Baker said: "We are disappointed that this case has come before the court when there was ample opportunity for resolution."

Speaking outside court, Mr Cooke said: "Powys Council cut me down to six days and I just wanted to show the people who were against us that we're not going to back down."