APPROVED: Casino plans at Chelmsford City Racecourse get the go ahead

PLANS to build a casino and create more than 100 jobs at Chelmsford City Racecourse have been approved.

Bosses at the racecourse, based in Great Leighs, launched the planning bid alongside an application to hold 10 music concerts a year in October.

The casino will be one floor of a new five floor grandstand building, and will cover around 3,000sq metres of floor space.

Concerts would be held on the inside of the racetrack and will bring massive musical names to the course – previous performers at the venue included Madness and Simply Red.

Black Notley, Great Notley and Felsted Parish Councils expressed concerns about the plans with the issues of traffic, operating hours and noise considered potentially harmful to residents in the surrounding areas.

However a planning report stated that few people would use the casino during unsociable hours and that noise from the casino would be limited by its indoor location.

The report states: “Given the fact that the casino would be located inside the building and that the site is remote from neighbouring residential properties, there are no issues in relation to the amenities of residents in the village.

“Overall, with the provisions already in place under the site licence and with necessary planning conditions, the proposal would result in no harm to the function of the site as a racecourse, the character and appearance of the area or the amenities of neighbouring residents.

“The provisions of the site licence would ensure that the management of traffic and people is carried out efficiently and safely.”

The initial racecourse plans from 2003 included a fitness area, conference and multi-use areas and the new grandstand building will help meet these initial proposals.

As part of the conditions of the planning application live music concerts must finish before 11.30pm.

The racecourse have been approached for comment.