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Second Phase of Plans for York Racecourse Submitted

York Racecourse

11:19am 14th May 2013

As part of the masterplan project to improve the northern end of York Racecourse, a second phase of plans has now been submitted in a formal planning application for the next stage in the £5 million development.

Planning permission for the first phase was granted by City of York Council on Thursday 18 April. This will create an integrated horse area; to comprise of a relocated pre parade ring, new saddling boxes, improved vet facilities and a wash down area

In this subsequent application, which was expected by the Planning Committee, there are the detailed plans for a new Weighing Room fit for the twenty–first century. The external design uses the trademark red, white and blue barber poles and metal fretwork already cherished in the Edwardian County Stand. Internally, it will have more space and enhanced facilities and will include a medical room, physiotherapy room, female riders’ changing room and jockeys’ lounge - all features of the modern sport that were not considered when the current Edwardian era weighing room was built.

As a result of the reconfiguration of these facilities for the horses, the plans demonstrate improved viewing for racegoers as well as greater ease of movement for visitors and horses.  The scheme is the first major review of these horse facilities in a century.

This second planning application also demonstrates how the space occupied by the current Weighing Room and existing pre parade ring would be redeveloped to improve facilities for racegoers. The existing Moët Pavilion would be replaced with a new building, that would still be a popular place to meet friends, as well as providing space for additional toilets. The proposals include a roof terrace overlooking the Parade Ring.

Last November the Racecourse undertook wide consultation on all these plans and is now formally submitting a scheme that will make more of the Grade II* Listed John Carr Stand. This is the only building with such a listing on a British Racecourse and, having been first built in 1754 is said to be the oldest grandstand structure on any sporting venue in the world.  The façade of this famous structure will be given more exposure, by the removal of the existing multiple tented canopies in front of it. A new less intrusive single span canopy would act as both wet weather cover and as a frame to the building. Made of ETFE, this lightweight structure would offer both shelter and shade, yet still allow light through so racegoers can enjoy the fresh air and so the grass lawns can grow.

As was made clear to the Planning Committee in the first application, in order to deliver the plans there is a need to realign the existing northern perimeter wall.  This would provide an additional third of an acre of leased land that in turn unlocks the space to accommodate the improved equine area. Constructive discussions with the City of York Council, who is landlord to the racecourse, have taken place.  The proposed arrangements for this land to form part of the Racecourses lease are now subject to the appropriate public notice and separate approvals.

The Racecourse team wants to continue to talk to the public and other interested parties about these developments, and has hosted a series of public exhibitions and meetings, prior to the submission of the formal applications.

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