The venue, located near Chelmsford was approved on Friday, January 6 by the Chelmsford City Council, making it the city’s first ever casino. The Council also approved the racing venue for ten open-air concerts this year.
The casino will be situated in a yet to be constructed five-floor grandstand building and occupy approximately 3,000 square meters on one floor of the new housing, and will also feature a bar. Approximately two-thirds of the area inside the track will be utilized for the open-air concerts. Implementation of the two proposals will coincide with that of the new showground center at the racecourse, which will have a fitness area and terrace seating to accommodate 7,000 spectators.
The new casino and concerts were approved by the Council despite local parish councils’, including Black Notley, Felsted and Great Notley, concerns regarding noise pollution, parking, increased traffic, and operating hours. However, in a report, David Green, Chelmsford council’s Director of Sustainable Communities, addressed the concerns stating that due to the location and distance of the venue from residential properties, that there is “no reason to limit the hours of use of the casino.”
Green also confirmed in his report that live music would not be permitted past 11:30pm, but that no restriction would be placed on when concerts can be held. Regarding the councils’ parking and traffic concerns, Green said in his report, “Essex County Council Highway Authority are content that the vehicular access and parking areas are safe and sufficient to serve the site as an outdoor concert venue, but have advised that additional information is required in relation to the management of traffic at each event,” according to the news agency.
Originally known as Great Leighs Racecourse, the racecourse is owned by UK-based bookmaker Betfred, who has said previously that the project is expected to create upwards of 100 jobs, according to the report.