Newbury Racecourse house building starts

Tony McCoy at Newbury racecourse
Image caption The sale of the land is intended to fund a major upgrade of the racecourse.

Building has started on 421 houses to the west of Newbury Racecourse.

It is the first phase of a project by David Wilson Homes to build 1,500 homes over the next 10 years, with the first homes going on sale in mid-2013.

The company, which is part of Barratt, is thought to have paid a minimum of £42.6m for western, central and eastern sites.

The proceeds will fund new facilities including a bridge to provide improved access to the racecourse.

Racecourse joint managing director Sarah Hordern said: "Work is already going well on the centre course car park along with the new road bridge and we are in the planning phase for future elements of the development."

About 30% of the homes to be built are intended to be affordable and shared-equity properties.

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