Donington gets legal document boost

Donington Park has received a boost in its plans to host next year's British Grand Prix after getting a vital legal document signed off to confirm planning permission, AUTOSPORT can reveal

Donington gets legal document boost

The track had been granted planning permission by the local council in January, but that was dependent on a Section 106 document - which details event management including traffic plans - being signed by track owner Tom Wheatcroft and leaseholder Simon Gillett.

Following difficulties between Gillett and Wheatcroft, that document was only signed earlier this week, and Gillett confirmed on Friday morning that it has now been approved by his lawyers. It means work can start in earnest on redeveloping the track.

"We have got the Section 106 all signed and agreed now, so that enables us to press on with the construction now," Gillett told AUTOSPORT. "It was all agreed last week and I have just had the email from my lawyers confirming it about five minutes ago! So we are really happy."

He added: "The machinery has moved into the centre, and as of Monday morning we start to hit that with some aggression."

Gillett said he expected to announce plans for the debenture scheme that will help fund the £80 million redevelopment of Donington Park at the end of July, as he said sorting out the finances remained on course.

When asked for a reaction to comments from the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) that it could not get Donington Park's money figure to stack up, Gillett said: "It didn't surprise me.

"I don't profess to know their business plan and they don't understand mine. I know what is contained in it, what the detail is. The people that have looked at it - just look at IMG who are our partners and the world's largest global sport's marketing company.

"They have generated it, and they believe in it. They have done it for Wembley; they have done it for Twickenham - and many stadiums around the world. Bernie believes in it, Max believes in it. So they are the guys who have looked under the hood and really know what it is about."

And although the current threat of a breakaway championship could have a huge impact on next year's British GP, Gillett remains optimistic the matter would get sorted.

"My reaction is that F1 is a sport that runs half on the track and half in the courtroom," he said. "It has long done that, and it will long continue to do that in the future. I am sure we will see a resolution, and reasonableness will break out at some point. I am sure we will have the same 20 cars on the grid next year, plus six new ones."

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