A FARMER has been found guilty of causing a noise nuisance.
James Peace, 35, of Syke House, Denby Dale, had defended himself throughout a three-day trial at Huddersfield Magistrates' Court.
Father-of-one Mr Peace was facing 13 charges of failing to comply with a noise abatement order that had been issued in October, 2004.
Yesterday he was found guilty on 11 of the charges.
Kirklees Council issued the order after people living near land owned by Peace at Broadstone Road, in the High Flatts/Birdsedge area, complained about noise from motorbikes and stock cars which he allowed to race there.
The land belongs to Mr Peace's family farming business, which he runs with his father.
The charges against Peace alleged that noise nuisance occurred from the racing events on 13 occasions between April and August last year.
One of the charges - relating to a race meet on April 10, 2005 - was withdrawn and he was found not guilty of another, on April 24, because magistrates felt there was not enough evidence.
Peace's first witness was Trevor Frost, a member of the Whiterose Autograss Club, one of the clubs which used the land.
He told the court the club had been aware of noise complaints and had worked with Peace to try and minimise the problem.
He said stock cars were tested to make sure they did not produce noise over a certain level.
The volume of loudspeakers was reduced and the racetrack was re-arranged, so that noise from the starting line was directed away from local houses.
Gary Burkitt, chairman of the Yorkshire Junior Grasstrack Club also gave evidence.
The group's members - aged from six upwards - used Peace's land for racing off-road motorbikes.
He said a soil bank had been erected to try and stop the noise carrying to houses.
He said the club had been riding on the land for 20 years - before Peace bought it - and there had never been complaints about noise.
The magistrates ruled that the land were trade premises, because it was being used for farming and being rented out to the clubs, both things which brought in revenue.
People guilty of breaching a noise abatement notice on trade premises face fines of up to £20,000.
For domestic premises the maximum fine laid down by Parliament is £5,000.
Magistrates said they would sentence Mr Peace on April 25, once they had seen a full report of his financial circumstances.