Top Gear will need to find a new home because the Dunsfold Aerodrome – home to the show's test track and principal shooting studio – will soon become a complex of 1,800 homes. After years of consideration, England's Secretary of State finally approved the plan on March 29.
“This is a very positive decision. 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," Dunsfold Park Chief Executive Jim McAllister said in the announcement of the project's acceptance.
Plans to convert the site into a housing development go back to 2015. The construction will include 540 homes specifically earmarked as affordable housing. There will also be parks, sports fields, and a health center. The existing Dunsfold Business Park will also expand. It currently consists of over 100 businesses, and they employ over 900 people.
According to Get Surrey, a website that covers the local area, there was a significant amount of controversy surrounding the plan. The biggest worry among citizens is reportedly that the increased population could put a strain on the local infrastructure, particularly the roads. The local government council voted in favor of the project, but there was enough debate that Secretary of State Sajid Javid eventually had to make the final decision.
Top Gear has had its test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome since 2002. It's yet clear where the show could go next. The quickest road-legal vehicle ever around the course is the McLaren 675LT with a time of 1:13.7. A 2004 Renault R24 Formula One car did it in 59 seconds.