Randwick Race Course
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UPDATE Feb/March 2012
The annual Future Music event was held on Saturday 10 March 2012 at the Racecourse. Still a-ways to go in mitigating the impact for local residents in terms of noise, parking in streets and the associated anti-social behaviour as attendees return to their cars. In particular, better management (more Police) are required after the event in residential streets.
Meantime, the demolition works on the 2 stadiums has commenced to make way for the new grandstand (see below).
So much is happening at the Racecouse, but very little to do with racing. Even for those who don't follow the GGs, the Racecourse has provided a pleasant open space vista for the community, but this is all about to change.
Since the election of the new Liberal State Government in March 2011, the Department of Planning have released a "State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) - Infrastructure. This also applies to the Racecourse, Uni of NSW and the Prince of Wales Hospital site for development of more than $10 miliion cost. Interestingly, for the Racecourse, it also applies for 'non-race events', such as in the (in)famous Future Music Event which takes place in February/March each year. These large scale events at the Racecourse have usually been poorly run - Randwick Council have been the consent authority but have had little power to control the event. Maybe the Dept of Planning, with resources of State Government can do better. We'll see for the 2012 event to be held on 12 March.
The major redevelopement is for the'Spectator Precinct', which is near Alison Road, just near the intersection with Darley Road, Randwick. A rebuild of the 1960's grandstand is planned (watch out for asbestos on windy days) will commence in 2012, following a $150 million cash injection from the State Government. A few race meetings will continue at Randwick while the building works are underway, but many will be shifted to the other 3 racecourseses (Rose Hill, Warwick Farm and Canterbury), following the merger the 2 NSW racing associations, now known as the 'Australian Turf Club" - ATC).
The plans also include a 'Theatre of the Horse' behind the rebuilt grandstand - really a 4000 seat entainement venue. The large 'Tea House" building circa 1910, is to be demolished, which is a pity given this is a rare example of a "Indian Colonial" architecture. Grander plans for the 'Spectator Precinct' include a hotel /serviced apartment building of approximately 170 rooms, but no formal plans have been lodged for this.
There is also the 'Stabling Precinct' approved on Wansey Road, at the corner of Alison Road for 6 large 3-4 storey high buildings to replace the stables currently along the High Street frontage of the Racecourse. There is no start date for this work, although concentrating stables close to a residential area is bound to cause conflict, particularly with truck movements and smell. What is planned for the land along High Street is unknown - orginally large blocks of housing were indicated, much the same as the high-rise student housing opposite on the Uni of NSW site. This has now been "withdrawn", but we are not convinced.
Also, don't forget the sale by the State Government of the old bus loading area near Doncaster Avenue (corner of Alison Road) to the overseas controlled Anson Developments, the site now approved for 83 units and townhouses.
We'll keep you posted on further threats to this open space area in Randwick. Given the central location of the racecouse, more development and non-race events will increase traffic and parking probems for all of Randwick City.