Before the end of 2016, the local authority to Kempton Park – Spelthorne Borough Council –issued a ‘Call for Sites’ within the borough to put themselves forward to help to address unmet local housing needs.
After careful consideration, The Jockey Club has submitted its estate at Kempton Park for consideration for future redevelopment. This is a process that is expected to take several years, but if successful, would allow it to generate significant capital to reinvest back into supporting British Racing nationwide, as per its Royal Charter commitments.
Kempton Park provides the local authority with the opportunity to address local housing needs, maintain a barrier of green space between the borough and London and deliver a range of significant local benefits required by the local community as part of any development.
In the meantime, normal operations continue. This is simply the first step in what is likely to be a long process. If future development is approved it is likely to be at least 2021 – at the earliest – before there are any changes to racing operations. If it is not approved then Kempton Park will continue as a racecourse venue.
It remains business as usual at Kempton Park – both as a racing and events venue. In 2017, the racecourse is scheduled to stage 71 racing fixtures, including quality Jumps racing and all-year-round Flat racing on our all-weather surface, and popular events such as the weekly general markets and twice-monthly antiques market continue as normal.
What has been announced is that our site has been put forward for consideration in Spelthorne Borough Council’s Local Plan as a site that could be redeveloped in the future to help towards unmet local housing needs. Dependent on the outcome of a planning process this means the site may be redeveloped in the future, but if that is the case it is anticipated it would be at least 2021 – at the earliest – before there are any changes to racing operations. We look forward to welcoming all customers to Kempton Park as normal.
That depends on the outcome of a planning process. At the moment we have simply submitted Kempton Park for consideration in Spelthorne Borough Council’s Local Plan as a site that could be redeveloped to help towards unmet local housing needs and to generate capital to invest in British Racing in Surrey and nationwide. That is the first step of a process that would take several years before there are any changes to operations at Kempton Park, where it remains business as usual in the meantime.
If Kempton Park is successfully included within the Local Plan to help to meet local housing needs, this would allow us the option of developing the site to generate capital that we can use to improve the infrastructure and facilities at our other racecourses and training centres in Surrey and all around the country. This includes plans to unlock the potential of Sandown Park less than six miles away, and the building of a new all-weather racecourse, most likely at Newmarket, which would need to be operational before any changes to racing at Kempton Park. The Jockey Club is governed by Royal Charter to act for the long-term good of British Racing and these plans would allow us to achieve much for the sport in the future.
We are looking to deliver major investment to facilities and the track at Sandown Park, which is less than six miles from Kempton Park and which currently stages some of the finest Jumps races in the country, including the Grade 1 Tingle Creek in December and the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at the Jumps season finale in April. We propose to work with the British Horseracing Authority to transfer a suitable number of fixtures, including the 32Red King George VI Chase, to Sandown Park. It has been staged there in the past, won then by One Man and Kicking King who both also won the King George at Kempton, so there is a precedent.
In consultation with the British Horseracing Authority and the wider sport, and with a careful review of Turf capacity, we would look to transfer Kempton Park’s other Jumps fixtures to other Jumps courses operated nationally by The Jockey Club, with further major investment in the process. This would help to boost Jump racing around the country.
In addition, The Jockey Club is preparing for a planning application to create a new floodlit all-weather course, purpose-built for horsemen. Newmarket is the front-running option for this because of the ultimate convenience it would offer for the many thousands of horses trained at the world’s premier racehorse training centre and the further boost it would give to the Home of Racing. This would be a new course replacing Kempton Park’s all-weather operations and The Jockey Club would require it to be operational before racing stopped at Kempton Park. The Jockey Club has no intention of converting any of its existing Turf surfaces to all-weather.
No – that is the sum The Jockey Club wishes to invest in British Racing over the next decade. The majority of this will come from our diverse commercial operations and a portion from redevelopment at Kempton Park if this goes ahead in the future. The Jockey Club is governed by Royal Charter to act for the long-term good of British Racing and this includes reinvesting every penny of profit made back into the sport.
In 2014 we put forward the backlands at Kempton Park for potential development. However, this recent Call for Sites from Spelthorne Borough Council and once-in-a-generation Green Belt Review has created a far greater opportunity. The decision to submit Kempton Park for development consideration was made unanimously by The Jockey Club’s Board of Stewards to meet the local council’s 10th January 2017 deadline, after much consideration of our options.