Spa has its operating licence suspended for next 17 years


Staff Member
According to reports, Spa has lost its licence to hold races due to noise complaints made by residents in 2007.

This puts further pressure on the Belgian Grand Prix after it was confirmed that this year's race made a loss of £2.6m.

What's not clear however is whether it's just F1 races or all races?
Surely if it's noise related then it has to be all events, unless F1 races are considered to be that much noisier than other events.

Now if only we can get the residents around the Hungaroring, Monaco and Valencia to complain... :D

The future of the Belgian grand prix is under threat once more after the Spa-Francorchamps circuit had its operating licence suspended for the next 17 years.

The decision comes from the Council of State, effectively Belgium's supreme administrative court, after a noise complaint was made by a board of local residents in 2007. The track operators were ordered to undertake an environmental impact study, since described in a Council of State ruling as "seriously inadequate and incomplete". That licence was subsequently suspended until 2026.
Future of Belgian GP under threat after Spa has licence suspended
This is shocking news! How can people complain about something that has been happening for years?

Seriously, those few residents who live around spa need to be taken into the Ardene and shot!!
Rick, It's as bad at Brands Hatch. In order to continue running the circuit and pay for some decent upgrades some of the land owned by then owners Octagen was sold off for housing developments.

Further down the line the new residents of these houses managed to get court restrictions placed on Brands to restrict the number of days racing per year and the hours of circuit operation.

The grand old circuit of Castle Coombe which is one of the oldest and fastest circuits still in use in the country is also the most heavily restricted with noise levels due to residents complaints.

I'm thinking of complaining to my local council to get the M6 shut from 2000 at night until 0800 in the morning becuase I live about 10 minutes walk away and at night I can hear the cars on the motorway (just). I know I chose to live there but hey, I've got rights don't you know!!!

If this is the end of Spa then all I can say is
unfortunately, this is true.

what happened, 2 years ago people complained about the noise levels. spa has a license for events (not just races) but in this license is mentioned that the noise has to stay within a certain limit. now these people have won their case at the highest Belgian court who suspended spa's license to hold events. the court has established that the noise regulations are sub standard and full of holes.

this license for 20 years has been signed in 2007, therefor the term of 17 years. so spa circuit has to fix the issue or wait until a new license comes into effect. so now all events at spa are suspended until this noise issue is fixed. races, testing, everything is suspended. this will take at least 1 year so this means no spa in 2010.
in case anyone is interested, these are the noise regulations for zandvoort. and remember, this circuit does not have an F1 race anymore.

Circuit Park Zandvoort (CPZ) operates under a licence issued by the Province of North Holland as part of the Environmental Protection Act. As might be expected, this licence focuses on the noise originating from the circuit. The noise produced by the circuit has been drastically reduced in recent years by introducing a noise control programme that has involved putting enormous noise-protection dams and screens along the track, as well as making the use of exhaust silencers compulsory where possible. The rules that the CPZ has to comply with are relatively simple and can be explained as follows (a calculator will later make things clearer):

- 360 days per year the CPZ may produce a maximum LEQ* of 55 dB(A) per day (from 07.00 hours to 19.00 hours) on the outer wall of the nearest permanent construction (Burgemeester van Alphenstraat). This standard therefore applies both during the week and at weekends, irrespective of the type of activity on the track.

- 5 days per year the CPZ may produce an LEQ higher than 55 dB(A) per day on the outer wall of the nearest permanent construction. These days are currently used for the two large(r) international events, like the Marlboro Masters of Formula 3 and the D.T.M.

* Equivalent sound pressure level LEQ = a theoretical constant sound level that produces as much sound energy within a certain period as that which is actually emitted. For more information about calculating noise click here.

An LEQ value is actually nothing more than the measurement of a weighted average over a specified time period.

Throughout the entire year, CPZ is subject to an evening standard (19.00 to 23.00 hours) of 50 dB(A) and a night-time standard (23.00 to 07.00 hours) of 45 dB(A).

By complying with a set LEQ value, the CPZ can arrange the daily programme as it likes, by for instance giving relatively quiet cars a lot of track time or by giving noisy vehicles very little time.

Two examples that meet an LEQ of 55 dB(A) are as follows:
- 10 cars each emitting 80 dB(A) can collectively do 55,000 laps per day on the CPZ.
- 10 cars each emitting 100 dB(A) can collectively do only 550 laps per day on the CPZ.

The most important difference between the two above examples is that the first is scarcely audible outside the CPZ but the second is. Both examples do however comply with the terms of the CPZ’s licence. In absolute terms, there is no difference in the noise produced per day. In relative terms, the first example is experienced as less of a nuisance than the second.

Noise produced by the CPZ is measured at a point located immediately next to the track (where cars turn onto the straight). Taking measurements here ensures the wind’s influence on sound levels is kept to an absolute minimum. An independent research agency and the Province of North Holland have established that the difference between the noise measured along the straight end and the outer wall of the nearest construction is 26 dB(A). By determining this interim value, Circuit Park Zandvoort can measure noise close to the source itself (cars and motorbikes), without having to worry about ambient noise.

Noise generated at the CPZ is mostly measured on weekdays and electronically converted into an LEQ value in the evening. Based on experience, the CPZ can nonetheless determine what can/may drive on a particular day without having to measure noise levels.

For official events, the CPZ is obliged to calculate the expected noise level beforehand and submit this to the Province, which must confirm that the prospective programme meets the terms of the licence. Noise is constantly measured during events and the results have to be submitted to the Province later.

Standard noise levels for both the evening (19.00 - 23.00 hours) and the night (23.00 - 07.00 hours) are of course substantially lower than during the day, i.e. 50 and 45 dB(A) LEQ respectively. The licence expressly forbids activities on the racing circuit during the night (24-hour races are therefore not permitted). By establishing an evening and night standard, use of the CPZ is more limited than during the day. ... /index.xml includes a calculator... its a bit lit kafka really
Disaster averted....for now.

Belgian Grand Prix venue Spa Francorchamps has been reopened following the suspension of a ruling which temporarily closed the circuit because of noise complaints, AUTOSPORT understands.

The track was briefly closed in response to complaints raised by a not-for-profit anti-noise organisation whose name literally translates as 'the quiet ones'. Although the group originally lodged its objection in 2007, the local authorities did not take action until this week, when a 17-year closure order was imposed.

However, following a meeting of government officials, sources have said that the closure of the circuit has been called off pending further legal discussions to take place next week following Spa's decision to appeal against the decision.
Is that the shortest ever closure of a circuit? LOL

[bg=#E3001A]Autosport[/bg] Noise row temporarily closes Spa
OK, thats normal.

Lets resign ourselves to it, eh, eventually and soon, Spa is toast!

I've got a friend who doesn't like noise, I bought him a holiday home in this region*!

*Story may be fabrication


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sorry bro

just checked all belgian news sites and all of them mention the circuit is closed. no mentioning of any delays. well, not yet anyway :) but it would surprise me in view of the court who made the decision.
there will be racing at this spa this weekend. the international 6 hours of spa. this under a special dispensation cos basically the teams were already in spa when the license was revoked. canceling the race would lead to a massive claim from these teams.

a press release was made that this was the last event and there will be no more exceptions until spa meets the noise regulations.
Some good news for a change :D

The problems with Spa have been resolved so it will be on the 2010 calendar.

Mobility has signed a new decree granting the Spa-Francorchamps a new circuit licence.
This means that the track can be included in the definitive Formula 1 calendar which will be published in around two weeks from now.

The decision comes as a result of criticism of a previous decision to take away the track's licence because of noise pollution.
Spa will still have to deal with tighter restrictions but the Grand Prix will not be included in the new restrictions as the local politicians accept that it is an important economic event.
slight addition to bro's news.

the license has been granted for 1 season and a bit. in march 2011 the circuit will have to prove it can pass all the rules.
the loss over the 2008 F1 race was 4 million euro, the loss over the 2009 F1 race was 5 million euro.

there were 51 000 paying visitors in 2009, more then in 2008. but these were mainly on low cost tickets. the VIP tickets hardly sold.

the loss for the circuit over the whole year 2008 was about 700 000 euro, but this does not take into account a regional subsidy of 3.36 million euro.
OK, so I signed up. I just hope Bernie doesn't get his killer munchkins on me!*

(Because we all know he's behind this!)
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