A plan to build a new 150-bed hotel on a Green Belt site at Windsor Racecourse was given the go-head at the Royal Borough’s Urban Development Management meeting last week.
The scheme, which has so far been approved on the grounds that it will bring economic benefits and new jobs to the area, has received objections from some quarters.
The Environment Agency has voiced concerns over the fact that the new building is to be built on a floodplain, while Highways England stated the site did not offer sufficient parking solutions.
Planning officers have responded to these concerns stating that they are satisfied that any flooding risks can be negated by raising the land level on the site and Arena Racing Company (ARC), the company which submitted the application and runs the racecourse, has said that surrounding land can be made available as overspill if problems arise with parking.
There have been no objections from local residents and Cllr Jack Rankin is reported as saying: “It’s evident to those of us who know Windsor’s economy that we need more hotel facilities in the town centre.
“I know that the racecourse is a key employer and a key driver in Windsor’s economic landscape.”
It is proposed that the new hotel, which the Hilton chain is tipped to manage, is built on the Silver Ring, which is to be demolished to accommodate the project.
The proposed project was originally to be brought before the council with a recommendation of refusal by planning officers. It was then withdrawn and following further discussions, resubmitted by officers with new recommendations.
However, the project is still to receive a definitive green light despite the positive outcome of last week’s meeting. The Secretary of State must give the application final approval due to the fact the project is planned for green belt land. Further consultation with the Environment Agency is also required in relation to potential flooding issues and negotiations are ongoing concerning transport.