City Council Executives put down West Common racecourse plans

The City of Lincoln Council Executive Committee recommended unanimously against plans to reinstate horse racing on the West Common. The meeting on Monday, August 16, at the New Life Centre in Newland was brief and saw anti-racecourse campaigners cheering.

Seven members of the Executive Committee made declarations of interest, saying that they know personally the Lincoln MP Karl McCartney, who is one of the directors of the Lincoln Racecourse Regeneration Company (LRRC), the company behind the proposal.

LRRC had suddenly withdrawn its proposal from the Executive Committee, only days before it was meant to be debated by the City of Lincoln Council councillors. The company said it didn’t scrap the plans, but has just put them on hold.

Councillor Darren Grice, Leader of the Council, addressed in a statement criticism from the LRRC, which suggested that a council officer’s report to the Executive was unfair toward the company. Grice said the report was a “fair appraisal”.

Grice’s statement continued in agreement with the Commons Advisory Panel’s recommendation against LRRC’s plans. Grice also stated that LRRC’s proposal wouldn’t have gone through, even though the company pulled it.

“Whilst I can understand the desire to see some benefits of horse racing returning to Lincoln, the reality is that this area in particular [West Common] no longer readily lends itself to such an activity, and importantly, all of the requirements and activities it entails,” Grice continued.

“This is therefore not an initiative that the Council has or will be seeking to permission or promote. That is a policy statement of the Executive. […] The recommendation to the Executive is that no further action be taken.”

Update @ 10:23 on August 17: The City of Lincoln Council released the full documents and statements from the meeting: