SBD Global/January 11, 2017/Facilities

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  • League One Side AFC Wimbledon's Stadium Assessed For Historic Listing

    League One side AFC Wimbledon's plans to build a football stadium in Plough Lane "may be facing one final challenge as a decision is made on whether to list the current Wimbledon Stadium just months before it is due to be demolished," according to Pippa Allen-Kinross of the WANDSWORTH GUARDIAN. Historic England confirmed it will revisit the stadium to assess the "architectural interest of the building" after an initial request for listing was refused in early '16. However, AFC Wimbledon CEO Erik Samuelson said that he would be "very surprised" if the listing was granted. The reason behind this "sudden turn in events lies with the Save Wimbledon Stadium Action Group," which has been "campaigning to retain the current stadium with its greyhound and stock car racing," and prevent AFC Wimbledon building its new 20,000-seat stadium in Plough Lane. The new facility, which will begin as an 11,000-seat stadium before being expanded, "will also be joined by 602 flats and a range of shops and amenities." Work on demolishing the current stadium is "due to begin in April, with plans in place to complete the demolition and site preparation by the end of the year so that building work can begin" at the start of '18. A listed building "can still be demolished with relevant consent from the local authority: in this case, Merton Council" (WANDSWORTH GUARDIAN, 1/9).

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  • Jockey Club-Owned Kempton Park Racecourse Set To Be Bulldozed

    Kempton Park racecourse in south west London, the home of the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, "will be bulldozed for housing and its fixtures will be moved to Sandown Park and a new all-weather track in Newmarket as a result of plans unveiled by Jockey Club Racecourses, the track's owner," according to Greg Wood of the London GUARDIAN. The scheme to close Kempton in order to invest the money elsewhere in the JCR portfolio of tracks is "certain to prove hugely controversial among racing fans, who cherish the sport's heritage and the variety of racecourses that Britain can offer." The JCR plans "envisage a total investment" of £500M ($608M) in its racecourses over the next 10 years, "underpinned by the sale of Kempton Park for redevelopment with up to 3,000 houses." Racing at Kempton is expected to continue until at least '21, "during which time a new all-weather track at Newmarket will be built to take over Kempton's extensive programme of all-weather racing." Sandown Park is "also expected to receive significant investment," which JCR believes will "unlock its potential as London's Class One dual-code racecourse on the doorstep of millions of people" (GUARDIAN, 1/10). In Edinburgh, Ashley Iveson reported the Jockey Club's land at The Links in Newmarket is the "front-runner as the location for a new floodlit artificial track, with the King George switching to Sandown." The Kempton estate has been submitted for "consideration to Spelthorne Borough Council in Surrey, which is seeking to address unmet local housing needs and reviewing its Green Belt boundaries" (SCOTSMAN, 1/10). 

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  • Facility Notes: Plans For Major Hong Kong Water Sports Center Nearly Finalized

    Plans for a "major" water sports center, costing at least HK$250M ($32.2M), are "close to being finalised for the Tseung Kwan O waterfront." The Water Sports Council, comprising rowing, canoeing, sailing, water skiing, dragon boating, triathlon and life saving, "confirmed it had been in discussions with the government for a narrow 1.4-hectare site along the Tseung Kwan O South waterfront promenade." Council Vice-Chair Mike Tanner said, "All seven sports have indicated their interest in having the center in TKO. It is going to be the biggest center in Hong Kong with the activities being involved, but it would be too early to say when we can start physical construction of the facility" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 1/10).

    The Parque Radical of Deodoro Sports Complex, "one of the intended legacies of the Olympics for the residents living in Rio's Zona Norte and Zona Oeste," has been closed since the beginning of the new year. The 500,000-square-meter Olympic venue and park was "taken over" by the Rio 2016 Olympics organization from March until Sept. '16, when it was then reopened for public use. Yet the company managing the site "closed operations at the end of last year." Local news outlets reported that "the City Hall has started a new bidding process, but it was challenged by the Court of Auditors" (RIO TIMES, 1/10).

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