Donington boss sure of planning permission
|By Jonathan Noble and Dieter Rencken||Thursday, December 11th 2008, 17:26 GMT|
Donington Park boss Simon Gillett has no doubts that the track's revamp will be granted the planning permission it needs for the British Grand Prix to go ahead when it goes in front of the local council on January 8.
Gillett and the North West Leicestershire District Council agreed to delay the approval process until next month so they could ensure their plans were watertight before facing the chance of a challenge.
And speaking to autosport.com, Gillett said he was sure that the plans would not face any problems in getting the green light - which means construction work and the debenture scheme being launched to fund it can happen.
"We're confident we've got planning (permission) in the bag," said Gillett, during a visit to the Monaco Business Forum. "We are not sitting there having not spoken to the council and not worked with them.
"We've been through consultation for the last few months and we are recommended for approval. We are going there on January 8 expecting to come out with a piece of paper.
"We were originally going to go to planning committee on November 4, but we decided that there were a few holes in the application that could leave us open to challenge. So we decided to plug those holes between myself and North West Leicestershire - it was a joint decision. We've plugged those holes and we are now at planning on January 8."
Although Donington Park's plans for the revamp have faced a lot of scepticism, with many doubting the track can be ready in time for the 2010 race, Gillett is adamant there will be no problems.
He estimates it will take just five months to construct the new pits and paddock complex, which forms the centre stone of the redesign.
When asked what he would say to win the doubters over, Gillett said: "I don't have to convince them and I am not about to convince them. I will convince them by building it.
"I am not going to stand here and tell everyone that you have to believe me honest, I am not interested in that.
"They will see when buildings come out of the ground and cars come on the grid - if they want to sit at home and still not believe me then that is their prerogative, but the buildings will still come out of the ground and the cars will still be on the grid."
Gillett also rubbished any suggestions that he was gambling on the future of the British Grand Prix, having signed a deal prior to getting planning permission.
"I have given the British GP a chance when no one else was prepared to," he said. "Myself and my company have put our money where our mouth was. We stepped up to the plate and thought the British GP was important enough to save. Everyone else sat around for many a year not coming up with a solution."