Kempton Racecourse saved from development

Racing at Britain’s Kempton course could be assured for the foreseeable future after the Jockey Club announced it has submitted plans for a smaller-scale residential development on part of the site.

In January 2017, the Jockey Club unveiled a shock proposal to close the venue, with the land submitted for consideration following the local authority’s call to address unmet local housing needs.

The decision caused dismay in the racing world, with trainer Nicky Henderson fearing it would be “a nail in the National Hunt coffin” if the track was to close.

The initial plans included moving the famous King George VI Chase to Sandown and building a new all-weather track near Newmarket.

But Spelthorne Borough Council has not included Kempton on its preferred options and the Jockey Club, along with developer Redrow Homes, has now submitted a revised plan which will not affect the racecourse.

A statement from the Jockey Club explained the new proposal “would involve only previously developed land and would retain all racing facilities to continue as today, including both the jumps course and all-weather track”.