Racing safe amid fresh proposals to build houses at Kempton

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  • New plans to build houses but preserve racing at Kempton Park have been revealed by the Jockey Club.

    The original 2017 proposal to build thousands of homes on the dual-purpose Surrey track, which would have made around £100m for the Jockey Club, were shelved by Spelthorn Borough Council in autumn 2019. The decision was owing to the fact that “the harm to the green belt is not outweighed by the proposed development”.

    A new, smaller-scale, development has now been proposed by the Jockey Club and developers Redrow Homes to the council.

    If accepted, it would allow both National Hunt and all-weather Flat racing to continue at the venue, which is home to the King George VI and runs +60 race meetings each year.

    This would involve only previously developed land being built on and would retain all racing facilities to continue as today, including both the jumps course and the all-weather track.

    A statement from the Jockey Club said the objective of the proposal “remains to attempt to secure much-needed funding to invest in British racing, while helping to meet stated local housing targets”.

    The council is looking to build 15,000 new homes in the borough and in the Jockey Club’s original proposal, the organisation earmarked the millions it would make from the sale for boosting facilities at Sandown and Newmarket, prize money and investments in horse and human welfare.

    “We have respected the position of Spelthorne Borough Council throughout their local plan process with relation to Kempton Park,” said Sandy Dudgeon, senior steward of the Jockey Club.

    “Having weighed up the latest information, we have now put forward another option alongside the original full site for their consideration.

    “A healthy, sustainable and well-funded sport for the long term can only be achieved by investing in our sport. The need for British racing to raise significant funding to enable this is perhaps even more vital now than when our original proposals were announced.”

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    Julian Larkin, group planning director of Redrow Homes, added: “The new homes would contribute to meeting Spelthorne Borough Council’s identified housing need and help reduce the need to remove land from the green belt in less sustainable locations across the borough.

    “We look forward to discussing the planning representations with the council and wider community as the local plan consultation progresses.”

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