Are the complaints only on the grounds of noise?
As a past competitor and someone who has spent a lot of time in the pitlane since the late 60s - as a direct result I have lost a lot of hearing, something you don't pay any attention to in your 20s & 30s - when you get to your 60s you regret the exposure greatly.
It is unpleasant at the time in the car and as a bystander - it just is not practical to wear ear plugs or defenders all the time you are at a circuit.
Over 2 miles from me here in a farmers field hillside 2 or 3 times a year they hold motor cycle scrambling, if the air is still that is incredibly loud outside my house - only because the bikes are unsilenced. if they were just fitted with silencers they would be inaudible only 500yds away. It is not a performance issue in such a now overcrowded island such as this - the voluntary quietening of motor sport vehicles in order to keep going is a tiny price to pay.
I honestly do not think that an increased level of sound suppression to both intake and exhaust systems would detract from the experience either for competitors or spectators - in fact it would make the day rather more pleasant attract other family members not such dyed in the wool enthusiasts who currently stay away because of painful noise.
So if this is all the locals are complaining about, mandatory lower noise emissions from race cars is a great deal preferable to no circuit at all.
An agreement to lower noise threshold should be balanced with doubling the number of racing and testing days each year to balance circuit income and reward to competitors - the greater utilisation of the facility the cheaper per day per competitor everyone gets a benefit.
More and cheaper race days for drivers and spectators, trust me not that funny when you can't hear what people are saying - or the TV.
Edited by RTH, 09 March 2013 - 11:46.