Top Gear hasn’t been at its tip top shape lately. With Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May gone from the BBC’s employment roster, the aging show was forced to recruit new faces for season 23. With those changes included the revamp of the old Top Gear test track, which they’ve ravaged several sections to include dirt, water, and jump portions to help spice up its “Star In A Reasonably Priced Car” routine. Despite these changes, many viewers refused to watch the show in protest of the BBC’s move to fire Jeremy Clarkson, while many also couldn’t stomach Chris Evans‘ loud antics and the lack of on-screen chemistry.
If those changes feel uncomfortable for you, it’s about to get even worse. As of December 2016 another piece of Top Gear that we’ve grown up with has been destined to go away. the Waverley Borough Council has officially given the go ahead to turn the Top Gear test track and the entire Dunsfold Aerodrome property into a place for 1,800 homes. According to the BBC:
The aerodrome is currently home to Dunsfold Business Park which accommodates more than 100 businesses employing more than 800 people.
Dunsfold Aerodrome is the largest brownfield site in Waverley and is neither in the greenbelt or the Surrey Hills area of outstanding natural beauty.
Jim McAllister, Dunsfold Park chief executive, said: “The development of Dunsfold Aerodrome will provide homes for young families currently priced out of the area, direct development away from green fields, create new jobs and deliver a range of new community facilities and infrastructure improvements.”
The planning application was approved by 10 votes to eight at the council’s planning committee meeting.
The owners have been told for the development to go ahead they must improve roads in the area to “mitigate the impact of traffic generated by the development”, and provide a bus service in perpetuity.
Part of the development must provide affordable housing, the committee said.
There will also need to be a health centre on site, public open spaces and sports facilities as a condition of the development being allowed.
Obviously this forces Top Gear to choose a completely new track to test its cars. This would also mean that the track time leaderboard will have to be refreshed and redone. This is a big setback for the show but also creates a big opportunity for the poor performing show to rethink its approach and to regain lost viewers. While many old Top Gear die-hards won’t care so much about this news, as they’ve comfortably moved on to the superior Grand Tour show on Amazon Prime, those that will truly miss the track can relive the good times in the decades worth of reruns and the few video games that feature it as a playable track.