Row over Hambleton supercars reaches court

Serena and Paul Bailey.
Serena and Paul Bailey.
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A couple suing their neighbours over noise nuisance have failed in an attempt to stop them running a business from their house.

Michael and Marilyn Blackwell claim Paul and Selina Bailey’s collection of more than 50 supercars, including a McLaren P1, a Ferrari LaFerrari and a Porsche 918 Spyder, are being kept at the property in Hambleton unlawfully, and that their noise is creating an “annoyance”.

The Blackwells, who sold the land on which the Baileys’ house is built to them, have issued a High Court writ asking for damages. They claim the Baileys’ car collection has put them in breach of conditions imposed before the property was sold.

The Blackwells appeared at the High Court on Wednesday asking for an injunction to stop the Baileys carrying out any “trade or business” from the house, known as Serenity. The Baileys deny the claim.

Judge Robert Englehart QC said it was clear Mr Bailey - who with his wife made £28m when they sold their Peterborough teleconferencing business Worldwide Group in 2012 - had a “passion for old and expensive racing cars”.

Mr Bailey is also involved in motor racing through Gatwick firm Horsepower Racing UK. The Blackwells claim the cars at Serenity have been used for a variety of commercial ventures, including on the set of the latest James Bond film at Blenheim Palace.

On top of the presence of the cars, the Blackwells claim their neighbours have also flirted with setting up a “wedding planning business” at Serenity.

But Judge Englehart said it was the Baileys’ case that none of the vehicles kept at the property were “cars available for hire”. He added that the evidence in relation to any wedding business operated by the Baileys was also “very weak”.

Refusing to grant the Blackwells an injunction, he said evidence of any “short term harm” suffered by the couple was “absolutely minimal”.

“Such evidence as there is suggests that Mr and Mrs Blackwell may not be as concerned about their peace and tranquillity as has been made out,” he added.

They had used their own premises to site a caravan park and campsite, said the judge, and there was evidence that they had hired out their land as a wedding venue.

The case will return to court for a full hearing unless the two sides can resolve their differences in the meantime.