BOSSES at Chester Racecourse are hoping it will be ‘second time lucky’ as their masterplan goes back before the council next week.

The first incarnation of the £100m vision fell at the first hurdle in March when it was rejected by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning committee.

Members felt the proposals, which included a multi-storey car park, would be too overbearing and out of keeping with the surrounding area.

This led Chester Race Company to modify the plan and scrap certain elements, including the car park.

On Thursday next week (August 15) councillors will be faced with a fresh masterplan that has been recommended for approval by planning officers, subject to a raft of conditions and a £35,000 contribution to CCTV coverage in the area.

The modified plan now has three key features:

• A new six-storey grandstand to replace the Leverhulme stand, which will be demolished.

• A new pedestrian area called ‘Paradise Square’.

• A new three-storey conference and events centre linked to the main grandstand.

Documents published ahead of the meeting reveal that some residents have again objected to the plans, complaining about traffic and the size of the development.

However, council documents state that the racecourse is critical to both the city’s heritage and economy.

In the conclusion of her report case officer Catherine Reay wrote: “The proposed development would undoubtedly alter the appearance of not only this part of the development site but also this part of the City.

“However, it is considered that the development by virtue of its design, scale and layout, along with the use of high quality materials and high quality hard and soft landscaping, would enhance the appearance of one of the principal gateways and route ways into Chester. “

She said it would create employment opportunities and “would contribute towards sustainable economic business growth”, adding: “It is considered that the proposal would not result in an unacceptable impact upon important views and the historic skyline.”

She continued: “It is also considered that, subject to conditions, the proposal would not have an unacceptable adverse impact on residents’ health or quality of life, having particular regard to residential amenity, would have no unacceptable impact in respect of highway safety, would safeguard ecology and would provide suitable drainage provision.”

In a statement, Chester Race Company’s chief executive Richard Thomas previously said: “The Masterplan is very important to the future of the Race Company and represents a massive investment in Chester.

“We have worked hard since March to deal with a number of objections and are very pleased with the public response so far. The Conference Centre and Grandstand will be a fantastic Civic building for the City and, on race days, provide a new viewing and hospitality Grandstand like no other.

“With a strong focus on sustainability in its design, construction and use, this innovative new building will again put Chester at the forefront of the UK’s major sporting venues. This will be a project which the Race Company and the city can be very proud of.”