Leisure and Tourism

Bedford Autodrome

Client: PalmerSport

  • Town planning

  • Environmental planning

  • Landscape architecture

  • Graphic design


“Obtaining planning consent for my Bedford Autodrome motor sport complex was an extremely difficult challenge because of the inevitable local noise sensitivity and strong opposition lobby groups who misunderstood, or misrepresented, the impact the development would have.  Terence O’Rourke Ltd’s approach was essentially one of extremely careful consideration at every stage of the application by expert personnel, methodically addressing all issues and objections to provide a successful outcome.”

JONATHAN PALMER, Managing Director,

The practice undertook planning and environmental consultancy, including an environmental impact assessment, for the development of a performance car corporate driving centre to regenerate the former Thurleigh airfield near Bedford.

Since gaining planning permission, driving circuits have been created on the pre-existing runways and taxiways, with an off road course for four wheel drive vehicles. The main runway has been protected for possible future aviation uses.  Many existing buildings have been refurbished to provide hospitality and administrative facilities. Small new buildings accommodate garaging and refreshments.

The centre also encompasses car engineering and testing operations, with low volume performance car manufacture. Driving activities are principally corporate hospitality events and we continue to offer planning advice on the centre as it develops.