Bulldozers have taken up residence at the site where Freddie Flintoff suffered his horrific Top Gear crash in preparation for the site to be developed into a massive residential area.
The former cricketer, 45, was driving an open three-wheeled Morgan Super 3 car at 130 mph for the motor show last December when the vehicle flipped over at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.
He was airlifted to hospital after suffering broken ribs and serious injuries to his face.
On photos obtained by The sundiggers can be seen at the end of the airport runway, while a new sustainable garden village with public open spaces and facilities will be built.
An insider told the publication, “Allowing the site to be sold is a damning statement for the future of the series.”
Sign of the times? Bulldozers have moved to the location where Freddie Flintoff, 45, suffered his horrific Top Gear crash at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey
Accident: The former cricketer was driving an open three-wheeled Morgan Super 3 car at 130 mph before the auto show last December when the vehicle overturned (LR: Top Gear hosts Freddie, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris)
New beginnings: a new sustainable garden village of approximately 2,600 homes with public open spaces and amenities to be built (Dunsfold Aerodrome seen in 2017)
Land on the 600-hectare site is reportedly being dug up to lay pipes, while the track regularly used by Top Gear to race cars has been fenced off.
Approximately 2,600 new homes will be built, a new school, a community center, an extensive business park and supporting infrastructure.
Plans for the development were first drawn up in 2005 and resistance has been fought over the years.
The insider told The Sun: ‘Dunsfold is synonymous with Top Gear, it’s a big part of the show. But allowing the site to be sold is a damning statement for the future of the series.
‘There has been increasing pressure for several years to renew the airport grounds, but attempts have been resisted.
But after Freddie’s crash, there’s a sense that maybe it’s time to put the show to bed and avoid more potentially devastating crashes.
“It’s a real blow to the fans.”
Dunsfold Aerodrome was built by the Canadian Army during World War II and later used by British Aerospace, while a 1.75 km figure-eight test track was constructed by Lotus for its Formula One team to use as a testing facility.
Out and about: It comes after Freddie was seen for the first time last month since his horror hit where he was seriously injured while filming Top Gear four months ago
Accident: The former cricketer was driving a three-wheel open-top Morgan Super 3 car traveling at 130 mph in December last year when the vehicle overturned
Recovery: Andrew was spotted with his face covered and wearing a bucket hat sitting in the passenger seat of his car while his wife Rachael drove, in photos published by The Sun (Andrew and Rachel pictured in 2019)
It has been used by Top Gear for the show’s main site since its relaunch in 2002. Filming in Dunsfold was halted after Freddie’s crash.
It comes after Freddie was seen for the first time last month since his horror hit where he was seriously injured while filming Top Gear four months ago.
The former cricketer was driving an open-top three-wheeled Morgan Super 3 car traveling at 210 km/h in December last year when the vehicle flipped over at the airport.
He suffered broken ribs and serious facial injuries after the accident and has been resting since then to cancel his work commitments.
But Andrew was spotted with his face covered and wearing a bucket hat as he sat in the passenger seat of his car while his wife Rachael drove, in photos published by The sun on Sunday.
An onlooker told the publication, “He was reading something on his phone and stayed in the car while Rachael stepped into a store.
“It was good to see him in public and apparently doing well after what he went through.
“He did look like he’d lost some weight.”
On hold: Charlotte Moore, chief content officer at the BBC (pictured), said it would be ‘inappropriate’ to start filming Top Gear while Freddie is recovering
It comes after a BBC chief said it would be ‘really inappropriate’ for Top Gear to resume filming while Andrew recovers from his horror crash.
The ex-cricketer from England cheated death after being involved in a crash on the Top Gear test track while filming the car TV show at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.
He was airlifted to hospital last December after flipping a three-wheel open Morgan Super 3. It was later said that he was ‘lucky to be alive’ after the crash.
In March, the BBC announced that ‘under the circumstances’ it would be ‘inappropriate to continue making series 34 of Top Gear at this time’ following an internal investigation into the accident.
At a Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) event on Thursday, BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore was asked if the company is determined to bring back Top Gear.
Charlotte said: ‘My priority right now is to support Freddie through his recovery, so I think it would be really inappropriate for us to continue filming now.
“I think when we get to the point where he feels ready . . . and we’ll start thinking about getting him back.”
She added, “I think we need to talk about what Freddie wants to do. If someone is recovering, I don’t think we would push that… I think that would be really inappropriate, I wouldn’t be happy.
“I think you have to be very human about this and do the right thing.”
Details: The £43,000 classic British handmade vehicle, described as a “motorized three-wheeler,” has no airbags, according to maker Morgan’s website
A statement from the BBC earlier this year said there will be a health and safety review of the show, ‘in accordance with our procedures’ following the accident involving the former cricketer on December 13.
It is understood that a decision on whether to resume shooting will be made later in the year.
Sportsman Freddie has taken time off work to recover and Top Gear is reportedly not returning.
The Morgan Motor Company was known for making three-wheeled cars before the war before returning them to production in the 2000s.
A source told The sun at the time: “Freddie is in hospital after crashing on Top Gear.
“He was just riding the track. He wasn’t driving at high speeds – it was just an accident that could happen to anyone.
All usual health and safety measures were also in place before filming.
Freddie was taken to hospital by air ambulance shortly afterwards.
His injuries are not life-threatening and he is receiving treatment.
“Filming has been postponed for now and all anyone cares about is Freddie recovering.”
Freddie became a Top Gear presenter in 2019 and the former England captain was involved in a crash shortly after joining the BBC show.
The incident happened during a drag race involving fellow presenters Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.
On hold: Officials immediately stopped filming after the crash and began investigating the incident (LR: Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris, Paddy McGuinness)
He went on to say, “I do everything I can to make sure I do well in Top Gear drag racing, but on this occasion I went a few steps too far. It will seem ridiculous rather than dangerous when you see it on TV.’
Meanwhile, a BBC spokesperson said at the time: ‘The health and safety of our presenters and crew on Top Gear is paramount.
As viewers of the recent series will have seen, Freddie is often keen to go “off the beaten track”.
“Tuesday’s filming at Elvington Airfield was no exception – but he suffered no injuries as a result of his spontaneous detour, as fans will see for themselves when we show the sequence in full in the next series.”