• Jun 9, 2009
Come on, England: Leave Top Gear alone. We know they can make a lot of noise and take away air time from your precious Antiques Roadshow, but deep down inside you know you love them as much as we do. And don't try to deny it: the ratings don't lie. So isn't it about time everyone just leave Jeremy Clarkson & Co. to do what they do best in peace and calm?

The local townsfolk and big business are at it again, arguing over a new residential development that's slated to be built on the Dunsfold Aerodrome. We know, who cares, right? Well, the Dunsfold Aerodrome has another name: the Top Gear test track. Yeah, you're listening now. Real estate development firm Rutland Group is planning a 2,600-home eco-village on the property with a loan secured from the Royal Bank of Scotland. Locals are organizing against the plan, but to make things just a tad more complicated, RBS was recently nationalized by the British government, making this a political issue as well. Considering that the BBC (which produces Top Gear) is also a crown corporation, this is bound to get messy.

[Source: UTV]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      i always thought the scenery at the test track was a bit droll... its gonna spice things up when jeremy has to powerslide past pedestrians and the stig revs up at full throttle while people are trying to have a calm meal with their families. ive thought of a new segment if they keep the test track at this new development: top gear stunt man tries to jump a row of houses!
      • 5 Years Ago
      NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Leave top gear alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The test track is an airport.

      "a new residential development that's slated to be built on the Dunsfold Aerodrome"

      Aerodrome = Airport
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why doesn't the BBC just buy the property? This show makes a gazillion dollars every season, you'd think it would be worth their investment to try everything they can to keep it working for them. Or just build a newer, better track.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why would they buy property when they were turned down planning permission to turn it onto a race track?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ahhh, but the show does make money on BBC America, where it's cut up, stitched back together and commercialized. Maybe not a Gazillion dollars, but i'm sure it makes a good mint.

        Anyway, didn't we build too many homes already?!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Buying it may be a good idea. They can't just go build a "newer, better track" because the times on the new track wouldn't mean anything compared to the old track. I hope they are able to keep it. Best show on television.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's because the BBC is a government company (did you even read the post?). Technically, the BBC doesn't advertise (it does during breaks between shows, but there's no other breaks, and even then, it's mostly public messages, or advertising of it's own programs).

        So, basically, the BBC is not making any money. It's just using government money to provide a facility of enjoyment. I'm not sure where you, akboss302, got the idea that "[the] show makes a gazillion dollars every season".
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cristatus, do you have any idea how the BBC works? I would say having 60 million television set owners across the UK paying up to £100 to license their TV would be considered a money maker, but that's just me. And if Top Gear has 4-5 million viewers then I'd say in part they are in part responsible for a lot of money as well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's not a very good test track anyway. I doubt it's worth much money and time fighting for it. Top Gear will find a new track.
        • 5 Years Ago
        M22 - it COMPLETELY shows the ignorance of North Americans. But, we're used to it. So sod off.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "It's not a very good test track anyway. I doubt it's worth much money and time fighting for it. Top Gear will find a new track."

        The ignorance of North Americans. An area of land like that for residential building would run into many millions in the UK - and considering its location in Surrey, would be especially expensive to buy. Land values in the home counties around London can easily fetch at least £250K an acre, and more when the economy picks up.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Bloke: "The ignorance of North Americans. An area of land like that for residential building would run into many millions in the UK"

        Not knowing real estate values in Surrey hardly shows, proves or demonstrates "the ignorance" or North Americans.

        Get off your high horse.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sure, go ahead and build your little "eco-village".

      But if you think the neighbors complain about the noise now, wait until Stig is pumping a Veyron through their parking lot!
      • 5 Years Ago
      everyone spam that website.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Um, isn't the Top Gear test track next to an airport? I'm going to assume the sound of taking off/landing planes is much more noisy than anything the Stig can muster up. Housing right next to an airport typically isn't the world's greatest idea.

      Cue the "let's make the TG test track a historic landmark" idea so it can't be torn down.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Top Gear test track actually is a rural airport."

        No it is not - it's a privately owned aerodrome and used for air displays.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Piece of trivia: The Boeing 747 you can see in the background of the track in a for a couple seasons was used in the filming of Casino Royale
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wouldnt worry about it at all. if theres something were not short on in this country its disused airforce bases, theres at least 3 empty ones within 50 miles of where i sit. Most are left over from ww2 and the cold war.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Head, meet wall.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is old news. They've been trying to get approval for this (or similar) for many years. At the end of a previous series of TG maybe about 2 years ago, Clarkson ended with saying something about 'see you next weries, if we have one' (i'm seriously paraphrasing here). At the time that comment made people talk about TG being cancelled or JC leaving but it was actually due to the fact that their lease was up and was not being renewed because the owners of the site had applied for planning permission and were essentially clearing out tenants in advance of starting work.

      Due to the scale of the project and the fact that they are planning on dumping a hundreds of homes in the middle of the countryside, all the (rich) locals got upset and have been very vocal objectors. So their goals, rather oddly align with those of us TG fans.

      The developers are trying to sweet-talk it with talk of being eco-friendly and so on, but that's just a way of trying to grease the wheels and get the permission.

      Incidentally, considering they booted the Suzuki for the Chevrolet, they have precedent for dumping the old lap times and starting again, so I don't think it's a major concern. The only problem is finding another similar location that is suitable for use all year round, close to London & the Cotswolds (presenters all live between the M40 and M4 i think), with the relevant facilities, big shed, long runway, track. There's plenty other old airfields around but a lot are in actual use and face similar problems to dunfold like property development etc.

      So this has dragged on for a while now.

      Was built by Canadians, apparently...
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunsfold_Aerodrome
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