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Donington plan hits a snag

NEWS STORY
09/07/2008

The grand plan for Donington Park to host the 2010 British Grand Prix would appear to have hit a slight snag.

With a massive redevelopment needed to bring the circuit and it facilities up to standard, it appears that planning permission has not yet been sought.

Ian Hill, a spokesman for North West Leicestershire district council, but no relation to BRDC President Damon Hill, told the Guardian: We have not yet actually received the planning application although we have been talking through the project with the race promoters during the phase prior to last week's official announcement.

"Obviously we have little experience of a project on this scale and once we become involved we will be looking at it from an overall viewpoint, talking to the owners on an ongoing basis," he added. "Our approach will be dictated by the need to get things right for such a major global sporting event, while at the same time addressing whatever needs and concerns arise among the local residents. Of course the sheer scale of this project is such that we will be working closely with the highways agency and the police authorities from the very start."

Once again, memories of Bernie Ecclestone's disastrous 1999 deal with Nicola Foulston at Brands Hatch spring to mind, when FOM did a deal with the Kent circuit to host the British Grand Prix, and only learning after the deal had been done that the necessary planning permission could not be obtained. With Brands Hatch unable to deliver, the race returned to Silverstone.

Speaking at Silverstone on Sunday, Ecclestone warned that Britain would lose its place on the calendar should Donington fail to deliver on time.

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