Plans to build houses on popular racecourse shelved

Kempton Park racecourse is no longer being considered as a location for a large-scale housing development.

In January 2017, the Jockey Club made the shock announcement that the home of the King George VI could be sold for housing.

The organisation submitted the Surrey racecourse, which hosts both jump and all-weather fixtures, to Spelthorne borough council for “redevelopment consideration” following the council’s call for sites on which to build 15,140 homes.

The Jockey Club had earmarked the potential £100 million from Kempton’s sale for boosting facilities at Sandown, Newmarket, prize money and investments in horse and human welfare.

However the latest update on the Spelthorne Local Plan, published this week as part of a consultation that runs from 5 November until 7 January, does not include the racecourse as one of its preferred sites.

The reasoning behind this is because of the harm to the green belt.

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The council’s document states:“Overall the large scale of development [on Kempton Park racecourse would] make a positive contribution to parts of the preferred spatial strategy as it would enable the council to deliver a significant quantum of homes in a reasonably sustainable location.

“A development of this size, through a master plan approach, would enable a holistic schemes to be designed with the opportunity to integrate it with the wider environment.

“Benefits have been identified from the proposed country park and provision of new community infrastructure.”

But it adds that the 94-hectare site plays an “integral role” as green belt land.

“The loss of this site from the green belt would risk the merging of Spelthorne with Greater London and this would also significantly alter the character of the area,” states the document.

“The benefits of the proposed scheme have been weighed up against the negative impacts identified and it has been concluded that the harm to the green belt is not outweighed by the proposed development. Discount from consideration. Do not take forward.”

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