New owners of Rockingham Speedway will bring in a raft of security measures to make their plans to rip down grandstands and turn it into a car storage facility do not turn the site into a crime target.
Upgraded perimeter fencing, a comprehensive CCTV system, security patrols and improved lighting will be installed at the former raceway after strong recommendations were made by Northamptonshire Police.
A report presented to East Northants Planning Committee last night (Jan 9) said in the past year seven cars have been stolen from the 234-acre site off Mitchell Road, Corby.
Criminals have gained access to the former speedway on six occasions and have also stolen tools and damaged property.
Speaking at the planning meeting on behalf of new owners Rockingham Automotive Limited, agent Sinead Turnbull said a crime prevention officer had recently visited the site and made suggestions about how to improve security.
She said: “The applicant is more than happy to carry out these works. It is in everybody’s interest to prevent crime.”
She said the new plans would also draw investment to the area.
The last racing took place at the speedway last month. After opening in 2001, the raceway went on to attract thousands of spectators – but was not a financial success.
Last night, the East Northants councillors unanimously approved the plans to see the former raceway’s huge stadium grandstands taken down.
Councillor Roger Glithero, said: “Thank goodness they are going to dismantle those obnoxious, tall stands that have never been used. They really are an eyesore and I think everyone will welcome this.”
The plan for a change of site use had been backed by the council’s officers. Speaking in favour of the scheme, planning officer Rhys Bradshaw said the new fleet car storage venture would benefit the area as there would be less noise from the site and also the grandstands would no longer impose themselves over the grade one listed Kirby Hall.
Historic England also approved of the scheme on that basis.
A planning condition says security measures must be put in place before the new business begins trading.
All the signage around town advertising Rockingham Motor Speedway must also be removed.