Motoring TV

Don't Worry, The Top Gear Test Track May Not Be Demolished After All

Top Gear wouldn't be the same without the iconic test track.

The world famous Top Gear test track has been a staple of the popular motoring show since it relaunched in 2002. Set in the Dunsfold Aerodrome, the iconic airstrip has been the backdrop for memorable supercar road tests and celebrity laps in the Reasonably Priced Car. You can imagine the outcry, then, when it was announced that plans had been approved to demolish the site to build affordable housing. At one point it seemed that the current Top Gear season could be the last time the iconic test track features in the show.

However, the redevelopment plans may be halted according to The Telegraph. It turns out this sudden 180 isn’t due to the outcry of Top Gear’s fanatical fanbase, but complaints from outraged residents. The original development plan proposed for 1,800 homes to be built on the former WWII airfield, but the community is concerned that the local infrastructure can’t handle the extra population the redevelopment would bring. Plans were originally approved by the council last December, but the proposal will now have to go through a public inquiry in parliament to reassess the application and decide the future fate of the Top Gear test track.

"We, and the thousands who protested against this proposal, are delighted. It is absolutely right that an independent view be taken of this application,” said Bob Lees, Chairman of the campaign group Protect Our Waverley. "The site was found to be unsustainable in 2008 and is still unsustainable." Panic over, then. For now, filming for Top Gear will resume at Dunsfold - at least for the foreseeable future. That’s reassuring, because the current series of Top Gear has been one of the best in years so far, and replacing the Reasonably Priced Car with a “Reasonably Fast” Toyota GT86 has been a masterstroke.

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