Crime concerns about new business plans for Rockingham Speedway

Northamptonshire Police have concerns that security measures at Rockingham Speedway are not adequate for the new business activities proposed for the site.
Northamptonshire Police have concerns that security measures at Rockingham Speedway are not adequate for the new business activities proposed for the site.

Northamptonshire Police have serious concerns that a new automotive business planned at Rockingham Speedway could become a crime hotspot.

The force has recommended to planning authority East Northamptonshire Council that it considers refusing the application for a car fleet storage facility site at the former raceway unless changes are made to the current plans.

The police say existing security measures are not robust enough and the current fencing is not adequate to protect the cars inside from being stolen.

A statement sent to East Northamptonshire councillors who will make a decision on the application next week (Jan 9) says: “We have serious concerns that the applications may not apply with the principals of crime prevention.

“The north of Northamptonshire has over the years been the location for numerous vehicle storage and association business, most of which have suffered at times from costly crimes to the businesses involved and Northamptonshire police.”

The force has recommended that additional physical and procedural measures are agreed in writing after consultation with itself.

The former raceway’s new owners Rockingham Automotive Limited are behind the application which would see a change of use from car parking space to automotive logistics.

In October existing tenants City Auction Group revealed plans for a £1m investment in its operations to turn the site into the largest automotive and logistics site in the region.

The company deals with former feet and lease hire vehicles which it ‘remarkets’ to be sold on at its regular auctions at the speedway.

The sports venue off Mitchell Road in Corby said goodbye to racing at the end of last year after 17 years of activity. The site is built on backfilled quarry from Corby’s steelmaking years and has a number of landfill cells underneath it. The application will have a no dig policy for parts of the site so as not to disturb any waste.

Historic England has welcomed the application because it will involve the removal of the huge grandstands which it says are visually intrusive to nearby Kirby Hall.

The application is the first part of a phased redevelopment of the former raceway circuit. Phase two will see a change of use for the stadium itself and the final phase will be called The Gateway, with more details to be released this year.

East Northamptonshire council officers have recommended that councillors approve the application.