THE future of a hugely popular racetrack near Worcester is in grave danger after being slapped with a court injunction amid a controversial council row.

Grimley Oval Raceway has been going for more than 50 years and attracts people from all over Britain to watch its renowned stock and banger car racing.

But the tourist attraction's future is now in jeopardy after Malvern Hills District Council got an interim injunction to stop it operating, saying it is making "excessive noise".

The council has accused the track of causing "a nuisance to residents" who are fed up of the banging and revving.

But loyal track customers and bosses at the site, on the edges of Worcester, have called it "farcical".

The track has been operating since 1962 after converting some old sand and gravel pits, and has a growing reputation as a family destination for a day out.

Chris Parry, who sits on its board of control, has called it a "misguided, lengthy and costly" battle.

"This thriving motorsport venue of 54 years' heritage faces closure over claims of a 'statutory noise nuisance'," he said.

"As a racer I know every practicable measure has been taken to minimise noise on the 14 afternoons that events are held annually.

"Claims of a ‘nuisance’ are frankly farcical, the site is quiet for 98.9 per cent of the year.

"I challenge the council to explain publicly how an unrealistic expectation of uninterrupted silence can threaten a community of thousands of racers and spectators who treasure Grimley raceway."

Devastated Andy Hankin, 51, travels 87 miles from Kettering to volunteer at the track with his 17-year-old son.

He said: "We make the most of our day out at Grimley, everyone is friendly, it's a real family atmosphere.

"One thing about tracks like Grimley is they have rules on car safety and marshalls to support the racing, and medics are there for the drivers and crowds.

"Worcestershire may face rogue tracks popping up if they close a secure, established venue.

"The noise isn't that bad or frequent really, not if you compare it to things like nearby catteries or farm animals."

The racing season runs from March to October, but the injunction row threatens the 2017 plans unless it can be sorted out.

A district council spokesman said: "A number of complaints have been received about noise from the site over the last five years.

"However, over the past two years the nuisance to residents caused by noise was found to be excessive and above that generated by other circuits.

"This resulted in the matter being taken to court in December 2015, as a result of which the owner agreed to undertake work to mitigate noise levels by 31 March this year.

"That hasn’t happened, and left us with no option but to apply for an interim injunction which would stop racing on the site until the matter returns to court in the new year."

He said if noise reduction measures are agreed "there is no reason why racing cannot continue at the site".

The injunction came into force after the last race of the 2016 season and a court date is yet to be fixed over whether it should become permanent.