A smaller scale residential development option at Kempton Park Racecourse has been proposed as part of planning representations submitted by The Jockey Club and Redrow Homes into Spelthorne Borough Council’s Local Plan process, which if accepted would see both Jumps and All-Weather Flat Racing retained at the Sunbury-on-Thames venue.
In January 2017, The Jockey Club, which stages more than 300 racing fixtures each year at its 15 racecourses nationwide, agreed for the racecourse site to be submitted for consideration into the Local Plan process that had been launched for the Borough.
The Borough has an independently-assessed need for the development of more than 15,000 homes in the community, at a time when British horseracing is in need of major funding in order to grow and improve its long-term prospects. These unique set of circumstances were behind the challenging decision by The Jockey Club’s Board of Stewards to put the Kempton Park site forward for consideration for redevelopment.
This allows for any or all of the site to be considered for use and no specific planning application has been made. While the Stewards were aware the proposal would be met by opposition, they determined the long-term upside for the sport of major investment outweighed the downside impact of these proposals, while also providing benefit to the local community.
The Local Plan process continues and a new submission at the Preferred Options Consultation stage has seen a much smaller part of the site highlighted by The Jockey Club and Redrow Homes for the Council’s consideration, alongside the original proposals. This would involve only previously developed land and would retain all racing facilities to continue as today, including both the Jumps course and All-Weather Track.
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 within the Borough.
Sandy Dudgeon, Senior Steward of The Jockey Club, said:
“We have respected the position of Spelthorne Borough Council throughout their Local Plan process with relation to Kempton Park. Having weighed up the latest information, we have now put forward another option alongside the original full site for their consideration. This would involve just a proportion of the available land there and allow Jump and All-Weather Flat racing to continue.
“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.”
Julian Larkin, Group Planning Director of Redrow Homes, commented:
“The planning representations we have submitted as part of the Local Plan consultation in support of development at Kempton Park emphasise the opportunity that exists to provide high quality new homes in a sustainable location, close to existing transport infrastructure and on previously developed land, in line with National Planning Policy Framework guidelines.
“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.”
As has been the case since the original announcement three years ago, it remains business-as-usual at Kempton Park and for The Jockey Club’s hardworking and dedicated team running the racecourse, led by General Manager, Steve Parlett. Details of forthcoming fixtures are available at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/kempton.
About The Jockey Club
The Jockey Club stages thrilling sporting occasions including the Randox Health Grand National, the Cheltenham Festival presented by Magners and The Investec Derby. With Her Majesty the Queen as its Patron, The Jockey Club is governed by Royal Charter to act for the long-term good of British racing. Founded in 1750, today The Jockey Club is the largest commercial group (2018 turnover: £214.6 million) in Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live, Jockey Club Services and our charity, Racing Welfare. Every penny The Jockey Club makes goes back into the sport to help to make it the best in the world. For more information please visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.