The plans for the new 150-room hotel and around 80 luxury flats, all next to Doncaster Racecourse, have finally been given full planning permission by Doncaster Council. It means developers can go ahead with what is just the latest high profile regeneration project around Bawtry Road.
The scheme comes hot on the heels of work to redevelop Doncaster Rovers’ former Belle Vue stadium as housing, which has already seen some of the properties completed. Planning documents which were scrutinised by council planners who have given their backing to the scheme, show the new Hilton Hotel, which will face onto the Racecourse Roundabout, replacing the old buildings which are currently there.
Racecourse bosses are delighted that they are now in a position to move ahead. Stephen Higgins, Racing and Property Director for Arena Racing Company said:“We are pleased approval has been granted to progress the plans for a hotel and apartment development on the west side of the racecourse. We look forward to being able to share more details with everyone in the next few weeks. The development will ensure further improvements to racing facilities, including a 600 seat restaurant and viewing terrace and make a lasting contribution to the town.”
Business leaders see the scheme as an important development in the town and regard the site of the hotel and the housing development as an important town gateway. Under the plans approved by the council, the existing buildings currently on the corner of the Racecourse roundabout will be demolished for the new hotel to be built. The existing buildings are described in official documents as redundant and becoming semi-derelict in appearance.
The new hotel will have a hospitality space on the first floor with a terrace overlooking the racecourse holding 500 people, restaurant style. Parking had been raised as an issue in consultation before the scheme was given planning permission, but the official documents logged with the council say that parking will be sufficient through the use of existing racecourse car parks. They state parking is provided to the front of the site and in the apartment basement.
The developer’s transport assessment states: “Sufficient parking is to be provided to meet the requirements of the hotel operator and residential developer. The racecourse has large car parks in the vicinity of the development which will be used when a hospitality event is taking place at the hotel or in the unlikely event of all parking spaces being fully occupied on a typical day. It is not considered there will be local amenity impacts as a result of the level of parking provided.”
There are plans to improve access to the site – by creating a right turn lane to serve the site along Leger Way, which will be the road used to access the site and traffic will be able to leave the site onto Bawtry Road. The residential element will be separated from the hotel and set at the back, at right angles to it, facing onto Bawtry Road. The racecourse’s detailed plan has confirmed there will be new jobs created through the scheme – but not stated how many.
Doncaster Racecourse Management Company states: “The proposed building will create additional employment opportunities as well as supporting the racecourse and introducing a high quality design and appropriate layout to the junction of Leger Way with Bawtry Road. It will also assist the work that the council and private business is engaged in when seeking to promote the town and the opportunities that it represents.”