Circuit of Wales preparing for crucial public inquiry

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Bold plans to build a state-of-the-art new 830-acre motorsport facility in Wales will face a public inquiry in March.

The multi-million pound Circuit of Wales project applied to de-register hundreds of acres of common land that fall within the proposed development site at Rassau in Blaenau Gwent at the end of last year.

But the Planning Inspectorate, with the support of the Circuit of Wales, has called a public inquiry to allow for a formal and detailed discussion on the development’s use of common land.

The Circuit of Wales, which was due to host the 2015 British MotoGP round after clinching a multi-year deal with rights owners Dorna, say the public inquiry is the 'final hurdle' in a lengthy planning process.

A positive outcome from the inquiry will see on-site work commence, according to the Circuit of Wales, which is already facing a race against time to be ready to host the British MotoGP round in 2016.

Failure to be ready for the 2015 campaign has seen the Circuit of Wales strike a deal with Donington Park to host this year’s race, which is scheduled to take place on August 30.

Michael Carrick, Chief Executive of the Circuit of Wales, said in a statement: “The planning process is a lengthy one and we will continue to work with the planning body to ensure on-site works start as soon as possible in 2015. We are still aiming to have phase one site-wide and circuit infrastructure ready to host MotoGP when completed. This is a hugely important development, not just for the regeneration of Blaenau Gwent, but also for the UK economy. It’s critical that we ensure every detail is considered in the planning process before construction works can commence.”

The Circuit of Wales is set to host the British round of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship until 2024. The development is a flagship for the regeneration of the Blaenau Gwent area. The project includes a focus on youth employment, education, academy structures and an investment in motorsport, one of the UK’s key industrial sectors.

But construction work for 2016 was already anticipated to have started for the Circuit of Wales to be ready to host the likes of Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow next year.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt