The famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium where Giancarlo Fisichella won the first ever podium points for Force India has had its permit to hold race meetings revoked until 2026 over noise complaints.
The local council of state ordered an investigation into noise levels in the wake of a renewed permit issued back in April 2007. One of the conditions of the new permit was that an environmental impact study must be carried out following on from complaints made by local residents.
According to reports, this study was "seriously inadequate and incomplete" and has led to the circuit having its permit taken away.
Circuit director Pierre-Alain Thibaut, however, is confident the issues can be resolved. "Since the filing of the complaint, the situation has changed," he told a Belgian media agency. "The circuit has worked hard to reduce noise, and relations with local residents have improved."
"It is a difficult situation, but we've made commitments with reference to a range of people, and we must comply on pain of having to pay damages. We will challenge the government, and organize a dialogue with the board of residents."
Spa is currently scheduled to host a Formula One grand prix on 29 August next year.