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SBD Global/January 11, 2017/Facilities

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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