Donington set to get planning permission
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, January 5th 2009, 10:20 GMT|
Donington Park boss Simon Gillett's optimism about his track securing planning permission ahead of Thursday's council meeting appears well placed, with a local report hailing the economic benefits it will bring to the region.
Gillett told autosport.com last month that he was sure that the track's revamp would be given the green light by North West Leicestershire District Council for work needed to bring it up to Formula One standard ahead of the 2010 British Grand Prix.
"We're confident we've got planning (permission) in the bag," said Gillett. "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."
And the chances of the council approving the plans have been boosted after a report by South Derbyshire District Council claimed that the grand prix would bring a number of benefits to the region - even if there may be noise impact on neighbouring communities.
In a report that will go before the district council's environmental committee ahead of Thursday's planning permission meeting, director of community services Mark Aflat says he is convinced about the positives from Donington Park getting the race.
"The development offers substantial economic opportunities," he is quoted as saying in a report in the Derby Evening Telegraph. "The Grand Prix has the potential to attract both visitor spend and inward investment. New facilities, along with associated developments, will create substantial construction employment opportunities.
"This would bring new investment and highly-skilled employment opportunities to the area."
Aflat did concede, however, that track changes would raise noise levels for some nearby residents.
"Track revisions will generally be positive, or give rise to only very minor changes. However, there are a small number of areas which could experience notable changes in noise levels."
Gillett had said in December that he was eyeing plans to reduce airplane traffic at the nearby East Midlands Airport over the British GP weekend.
However, such an idea has been greeted with skepticism by the airport itself. Its managing director Penny Coates said: "The proposed change here is at Donington racetrack, not East Midlands Airport, so Donington will need to find ways to satisfy airport safety requirements and to avoid any road congestion that their events may cause.
"We will remain open as an airport and intend to operate normally through any events in the local community."