A City of York Council planning committee has approved a proposal by the racecourse to demolish, refurbish and rebuild elements of the stand areas.
As a result of these developments, ‘The enjoyment and experience of racegoers will be improved’ according to York Racecourse.
It includes the erection of a bar pavilion, a covered seating area, demolition of a range of ancillary structures, the refurbishment of the Bustardthorpe Stand with a rear extension and the provision of a landscaped area with an eight-metre high open glazed canopy.
William Derby, chief executive of York Racecourse, said: “The whole objective of this scheme is to improve the experience of people coming racing, working at the racecourse, [people] in this area and really bring it up to the standard of the rest of the complex.”
He added: “This is really aimed at our grandstand racegoers, the mid-tier priced racegoers.
“There’s no hospitality involved in this development.
“It’s all about the racing fan [and] giving them a better experience.
“It’s not about increasing our capacity, it’s about increasing the enjoyment and experience in this area.”
Mr Derby added: “In terms of what we’re creating, it is much better facilities, toilets, catering, betting facilities for the racegoers.”
The plans were unanimously approved by councillors on the committee.
Coun Mark Warters said: “It’s a world-class operation that we have in the city and I think it deserves support.”
A committee report outlines that, according to the applicant, the racecourse has in the region of 300,000 visitors during racing events and contributes around £58 million per annum to the city’s economy and the full-time equivalent of 1,300 jobs are supported by the site.
The report stated that the racecourse has undergone a progressive programme of refurbishment beginning with the construction of enclosed new stands in 1996 and 2002 followed by improvements to the course surface in 2008 and modernisation of the facilities at the northern end of the enclosure in 2015 and 2018.
It adds that the current application proposes the refurbishment of the southern end of the spectator facilities for the course surrounding and incorporating the Bustardthorpe Stand which has not had significant investment since the 1970s.
The Bustardthorpe Stand will incorporate the storage and preparation along with food kiosk facilities presently included within the detached buildings scattered around the site.
The new extension would also house a betting kiosk covering some 543 square metres, while the Bustardthorpe Stand would be re-roofed with solar panels provided on its north-eastern roof slope.
It is required that development should start within three years.