Masterplans for a new grandstand at Chelmsford City Racecourse and a 'garden village' on land surrounding the site belonging to the Holmes family were approved by the Chelmsford City Council recently.
The racecourse will be the first in Britain to stage turf racing under floodlights during mixed meetings on the grass and all-weather surfaces at the Essex venue. Revised designs for a new multi-purpose grandstand are also being crafted by architects HOK. Those grandstand plans will feature bars, restaurants, conferencing areas and a stunning rooftop terrace with panoramic views across the racecourse. Permission was also granted to build an additional 350 stables which, alongside the retained 250+ acres, opens up the potential for a state-of-the-art training facility at the course.
The “garden village” development features around 1,200 new homes, a school, a NHS medical centre, community centre, and retail units. It is part of the council's Great Leighs Strategic Growth Area, and there are other plans in the works in the vicinity for a new train station and road network.
John Rhodes, Design Director of HOK International, said, “This will be a wonderful long awaited addition to such a successful racecourse. The original designs still resonate, but this is a wonderful opportunity to push the boundaries of what a modern racecourse destination could be. The project will stimulate the local economy, creating jobs and further raising the profile of the City.”