The south coast oval.
"Does anyone know anything about this?? Sounds intriguing, and probably the best thing that never happened to Peacehaven".
Fairly certain I first read about this in David Burgess-Wise's "Automobile Archeology", and my copy is at home, so if someone else has it and can readt the "tracks" section, I'd be grateful, if not, I'll look when I go home.
I have found some mention in, of all places, Hansard, the Parliamentary record from 1934. The House of Lords was undertaking the Second Reading of the South Downs Preservation Bill.
"But quite recently a danger of another kind has presented itself. A short time ago application was made to the Portslade Urban District Council, which is the town-planning authority for the particular area concerned, by the Brighton Corporation and by the Brighton Motor Racing Track Syndicate for an interim development order under the Town Planning Act permitting them to develop land as a motor racing track."
"I may say, in passing, that Brighton has always been exceedingly keen on its own amenities, and I am perfectly certain that Brighton would never have authorised or suggested a motor racecourse if they had thought that it was going to spoil the amenities of the district."
"...it has been proposed in the Brighton area, on land leased by Brighton, to create what is called a super-racing track on one spur of the downs. That part of the downs, if this proposal is carried through, will have all its amenities, and advantages from the public point of view, completely destroyed. The proposal is that 1,100 acres of pure downland should be leased by the Brighton Corporation to this company. On this land they will enclose 400 to 500 acres, and within that have a racing track of four and a half miles, fencing it all in. A great part of it will be on the skyline, and the whole of it, with the exception of a few acres, above the 300 ft. contour which comprises the bare downs above it."
"But the real reason why this Bill has been introduced has undoubtedly to do with the proposed motor race track, and there has been an extraordinary amount of misrepresentation and prejudice with reference to it. The noble Earl opposite has stated that the area affected is only 1,100 acres in extent. The noble Marquess in introducing the Bill explained that the area, covered by the measure was thirty miles east and west and about fifteen miles north and south. An area of 1,100 acres cannot really be said seriously to interfere with so large an area of territory. When a motor race track is talked about everybody imagines a sort of Brooklands. Nothing of the sort is contemplated here. All that is intended is to construct an ordinary road, with no concrete banking, and no unsightly buildings. The area is close to the old fever hospital, which is hardly a thing of beauty. It is close to the Brighton Golf Club, and there are some very unsightly buildings round the area, so that it cannot be said that the area is exactly sacrosanct. Something has been said about the opinions of the people in the area. One thing that has not been mentioned is that the other day there was an election there, for the Portslade Urban District Council, and four of the candidates who opposed the track on the Council were defeated, while the people who were in favour of the track were elected."
So even 80 years ago, the same sort of debate was taking place that we would expect these days! I take it from this that the whole idea was kicked into touch and went no further unless any of the sages of TNF can find any more about it. Also given recent Brighton Council attempts to scotch the Speed Trials, it seems that pro and anti motorsport rows are nothing new on the south coast.
Edited by BRG, 13 June 2014 - 20:02.