Emotional day as curtain comes down at Folkestone racecourse
There were both cheers and tears as 2,500 horse racing fans
turned out in force to bid farewell to Folkestone racecourse on
Although punters took a decidedly gloomy view and doubt the
track at Westenhanger will ever again reverberate to the sound of
thundering hooves, Arena Racing Company (ARC), the owners, are
hopeful racing will resume there one day.
Everything appears to hinge on whether ARC can obtain planning
permission to build several hundred homes on part of the site,
which they say will allow them to invest in the grandstands and
ARC chairman Lord Howard of Lympne, wants Shepway District
Council to include in their core strategy some general wording
about future developments which would enable more detailed plans to
Lord Howard said: "Arena made clear in 2007 that the racecourse
was not viable in its present state and we made a proposal for the
redevelopment to the council but the inspector didn’t like it. If
we can get some words in the core strategy proposal, then we could
be in business."
Racing fan Julian Toomey, who has been attending meetings at
Folkestone for more than 40 years, dismissed ARC’s claim about the
need to improve the facilities.
He said: "That’s a load of rubbish. This is the best course in
the country. We don’t come here for the facilities we come to meet
friends and have fun."
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