Newbury racecourse redevelopment remains ‘on course’ for spring start

A planning committee have approved the detailed plans for the redevelopment of the Central Area of Newbury Racecourse and have said the project is still on course to start next year.
The development project, which will generate around 300 jobs, will significantly boost the local economy, a key feature of West Berkshire Council’s Newbury Vision 2025.
Joint developers for the scheme, Newbury Racecourse and David Wilson Homes welcomed the consent that focussed primarily on the improvements to the racing and hospitality offer in addition to a range of apartments along The Mile Straight. This follows an earlier consent in September for the Western area that comprised mainly family homes.
“Approval of this phase of this multi-million pound redevelopment enables us to significantly improve the racing experience, particularly for the racing staff, trainers and owners,” said joint MD of Newbury Racecourse, Sarah Hordern. “This permission will enable us to provide stable staff with dedicated overnight ensuite accommodation and there will also be a new horse walk and refurbished stables as well as a new dedicated owners’ and trainers’ car park and entrance.”
In addition to enhanced racing amenities, the Central Area consent includes a 123-bedroom hotel, 366 one, two and three bedroom apartments, both for private sale and affordable housing and a new Rocking Horse Nursery, which is being relocated to a new building that will sit closer to the residential community.
Proposals for the racecourse redevelopment began six years ago and have involved a public consultation programme to ensure local community involvement from the start. Outline planning for the 309-acre site was achieved in April 2010 and the re-development is expected to take around 12 years to complete.
“The redevelopment of Newbury Racecourse will enable us to safeguard the future of racing at Newbury and the heritage of this 1905 course,” Hordern added. “Throughout the works racing will continue – it will be business as usual and we will ensure our members and visitors will be kept informed of progress every step of the way.”
Building is anticipated to start in late spring/early summer 2012 with the first homes being ready for occupation by the end of 2012.
The racecourse generates directly and indirectly an expenditure of £52m annually and employs 80 full-time staff, with, on average, 860 additional people employed on a part-time or casual basis for race days. The total spend from the racing industry in Newbury and West Berkshire is around £196m per annum.
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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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