Racecourse redevelopment plans under starter’s orders

The first stage of £5m development plans which aim to bring more top horses to York’s famous Knavesmire has been submitted.

Under the proposals the northern end of York Racecourse will be redeveloped in a move which it is envisaged will improve facilities for horses, jockeys and racing fans.

New saddling boxes, a pre-parade ring and weighing room building would be created in work which would also give racegoers a better view of the equine stars. The Moët Pavilion would be replaced with a new building, which would include a roof terrace and bar looking towards the Parade Ring.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

There are plans to move the existing northern perimeter wall to create the new equine area. Discussions have been taking place with York Council, which is landlord to the racecourse, about varying the existing lease to provide an extra third of an acre of leased land to carry out the improvements.

Yesterday a spokesman for the racecourse confirmed that the first phase of the proposals have now been submitted for approval by York Council. They will be considered by members at a later date.

The first phase plans, which will be considered by members, focus on the extension of the site, the relocation of the pre-parade ring and building of a new perimeter wall and saddling boxes.

Documents submitted by the racecourse state: “Permission is sought for these works now; as the works require the closure of part of the site required for racing (ie the saddling area) they must be substantively complete in advance of the opening of the 2014 racing season in May.”

Racecourse bosses expect to submit the second phase of the application in the Spring. This will include a developing a new weigh-in building, creating a new champagne pavilion and replacing the multiple canopies outside the Grade II* listed John Carr grandstand, with a less intrusive single canopy.