Northampton

Rockingham Speedway grandstands to be demolished

Rockingham Motor Speedway Image copyright Robert Laberge / Getty Images
Image caption The venue has hosted up to 52,000 fans and cost £45m to build

Plans to tear down the 17-year-old grandstands - described as an "eyesore" at a former racing track in Northamptonshire have been approved.

The former Rockingham Speedway, in Corby, which once hosted the British Touring Cars Championship, hosted its last race in December.

The grandstands will be pulled down to allow the site to be turned into a "logistics hub" for the car industry.

The 52,000-capacity venue opened in 2001 at a cost of £45m.

Councillors from the East Northants planning committee this week unanimously approved plans to remove the stands - described by one councillor as "obnoxious" and an "eyesore", the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Historic England also approved the decision, saying the grandstands would no longer be visible from the nearby Grade I-listed Kirby Hall.

All the signage around town advertising Rockingham Motor Speedway must also be removed, the committee said.

Cars stolen

Security measures are also being put in place after a spate of car thefts from the site.

A report presented to the committee said seven cars had been stolen from the 234-acre site in the past year.

Criminals also stole tools and damaged property on six occasions, the meeting was told.

An agent for the new owners, Rockingham Automotive Limited, confirmed security measures would be put in place, including improved lighting and perimeter fencing, patrols and CCTV.

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