Top Gear has used the Dunsfold Aerodrome, an unemployed WWII airfield, to test cars since 2001. Anyone who has watched an episode of Top Gear can remember one of the many times The Stig took a high-powered machine out for a lap on the airfield.
It looks like Top Gear will have to find a new track to play around, as England’s Secretary of State has approved the plan to bulldoze the airfield in order to fit 1,800 homes.
We told you about the possible move at the end of 2016, but it looks like things are actually progressing, as local news organization GetSurrey recently reported that the Secretary of State gave the go-ahead on March 29.
“This is a very positive decision,” said Dunsfold Park Chief Executive Jim McAllister. “The development of Dunsfold Aerodrome will provide homes for all sections of the community including young families currently priced out of the area, create new jobs and deliver a range of new community facilities together with infrastructure improvements.”
Here’s what the plan will add
Speaking of changes, the Top Gear site will get demolished to make way for 540 homes, which the outlet claims will be affordable, along with athletic fields, and a health center. The actual runway will make way for one massive park.
Existing businesses will not be forced out, but will see activity on the runway come to a complete stop. So while it doesn’t say that Top Gear will have to relocate, it doesn’t look like the automotive show will be able to do much testing with all of those homes in the way.
In addition to being the site where Top Gear set lap times and tested cars, automakers, like McLaren with the MP4-12C, also used the track to develop vehicles.
Needless to say, the move was met with resistance. The initial plan for the airfield came out three years ago and the Waverley Borough Council actually approved the application in 2016. However, Secretary of the State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, had to weigh in to make the final decision after three years of discussions.
Since things are changing and we probably won’t get the chance to see supercars at the Aerodrome, enjoy the following video of Jenson Button taking the McLaren 675LT, which was the fastest production car around the Top Gear.