Brands inquiry set for December

The public inquiry into Brands Hatch's plans to update its track to Formula 1 standards will start in December

Brands inquiry set for December

The Kent track wants to build a new pits complex and grandstands in order to hold the British Grand Prix from 2002, but its application for planning permission has been put to a public inquiry due to the circuit's location in greenbelt land.

Based on past precedents, the inquiry may take as long as a year, and Brands says it then needs a minimum of six months to facilitate the changes.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has already written off the circuit's chances of holding the race in 2002, and Brands Hatch's owner BHL, which has a contract to promote the race from 2002 until 2007, is likely to promote the race at Donington Park instead. However, BHL boss Rob Bain remained optimistic that Brands could still host the race in 2002.

"Things are far from decided," he told Autosport's sister publication Motoring News. "We hope the inquiry should take less than a month. We've been told the hardest thing is to get a date set.

"We have already consulted objectors to the plan," he added, "and the only thing that might delay us is logistics."

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