Canberra Racing Club mounts up to take big redevelopment plans to community

Ian Bushnell 22 January 2021 44
Thoroughbred Park Racecourse

There are big infill plans for Thoroughbred Park Racecourse. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Canberra Racing Club is finalising initial redevelopment plans for Thoroughbred Park in Lyneham that could include three to six-storey apartment blocks, a commercial precinct, new stables and training facilities on the track infield and refreshed facilities for racegoers.

The club says the long-term project would deliver 3200 dwellings on the light rail corridor, generate $1 billion in economic activity and more than 2,000 jobs.

It is preparing to take the plans, which are the product of several years’ work, to community consultation next month.

Canberra Racing Club chief executive Andrew Clark said the plans were vital to the club’s ongoing viability, particularly after a year in which COVID-19 restrictions have eaten into its revenue, especially the hospitality trade.

”It’s been a challenging time, but we’re pressing on,” he said. “We’ve been able to race all the way through COVID, which is important to generate the revenue that allows the 440 employees to earn an income.”

He said underutilised land at Thoroughbred Park and the advent of light rail provided the impetus for residential development.

”Light rail is absolutely critical to the project. We’ve got two stops nearby, so it’s important we play our part in assisting with the light rail objectives,” he said.

”We’re ideally suited. We’re close to the city, we’re on two light rail stops, and we believe there are positives that can come out of this project.”

The commercial precinct could also accommodate a hotel and retirement facilities.

Mr Clark said the club wanted to create a mixed-use precinct that complemented on-course activities, capitalising on returning and enhancing the race-day experience for patrons and ensuring the club’s financial sustainability.

He said the centre of racecourses was often underutilised in Australia so the club was looking to emulate development like that at Eagle Farm in Brisbane, where stabling has been moved to the infield.

Building new stabling and training facilities would also improve horse welfare and training outcomes, Mr Clark said.

Mr Clark said the project would not be developed in isolation, but be part of a whole of precinct approach, with nearby Exhibition Park, Yowani Country Club and Kamberra Function Centre all having redevelopment plans.

He said the project had a 12 to 15-year horizon and would require a variation of the Territory Plan variation, a two-year process in itself.

The club would seek to change part of the Thoroughbred Park’s zoning from NUZ1 for broadacre usage to CZ5 (commercial) and RZ5 (high-density residential).

Mr Clark stressed that the project details, such as building heights, were not set in stone and that the club would take on board what the community had to say.

Members have been able to sight the plans, but they are being refined further for the beginning of a three-month community consultation period in February.


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44 Responses to Canberra Racing Club mounts up to take big redevelopment plans to community
Diane Asenoguan Diane Asenoguan 5:31 pm 27 Apr 21

Then let the govt build from apartments at Majura Park. Leave the arrangements as is. A refit to utilise the centre of the Racecourse should only be for people actually involved in the Industry

elanor elanor 12:05 am 06 Feb 21

There should be a petition to stop this. We don’t need more units, and why at thoroughbred park. The worst idea. The Canberra show, summernats, camping, folk festival, so many more functions are held at EPIC which do make noise and is a great place for events as these. Next door thoroughbred park should also be used for community functions, as it is land meant for it from the Government. Not a suitable land for residence.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:38 am 05 Feb 21

Perhaps a hundred and fifty years ago horse racing was sport but now it is only about making money, big money.

Still, horse racing clubs receive taxpayer funded subsidies and concessions that are not for the benefit of the general community.

Expect the government to fund 100% of the cost of relocating the horse racing industry in Canberra and waive any sort of a “betterment tax” when the developers buy the lease.

ruthtoole ruthtoole 2:43 am 05 Feb 21

This is a very bad idea.. This land is built for government sporting functions, not to make residences just to get more money. Why are they developing here out of all places. Residents will complain about the noise coming from EPIC which hosts like all the main events that occur in Canberra. Our sporting ground and recreation facilities need to be kept protected!

oscar oscar 1:56 am 02 Feb 21

Racecourse land should not be used for units. Sporting government land should be purposed for sports and recreation for the community. It is unethical for greedy developers seeking to destroy northside community purposed sporting land for housing development. It also is a bad location for residence with noise from epic as well as the early trainings of jockeys at the racecourse. There will be complaints without a doubt. And relocating epic to build more units is definitely a silly idea.

zoegraebner zoegraebner 9:40 am 01 Feb 21

It’s not a good idea. Many residents are probably going to complain about the noise at EPIC. Many events are going to be lessened, causing many of the main events in Canberra to shut down and be moved. Why move it when it’s already all built. Looking into the future of this it doesn’t look very great.

steven tolerhan steven tolerhan 11:11 pm 31 Jan 21

isnt that crown land? why should they make profits from land granted to be used for the people?!?

Harmony Spring Harmony Spring 9:10 pm 31 Jan 21

You can’t move epic because epic is where most of the main events are. The horse races are to loud people in the apartments will complain about the loud horse races. There won’t be enough space to park.

Harmony Spring Harmony Spring 9:09 pm 31 Jan 21

You can’t move epic because epic is where most of the main events are. The horse races are to loud people in the apartments will complain about the loud horse races.

Melody Kim Melody Kim 9:04 pm 31 Jan 21

I find this so dumb ngl. Like everyone living there is gonna complain bc of the noise from epic events and the horse races. Like we cant just get epic and dump it in another place for all the events. What about the canberra show or summernats or the farmers markets and so much more events will have to close down because they wanna add some more apartments. Loada of people will lose their jobs from this

Karan Campbell-Davis Karan Campbell-Davis 5:14 am 28 Jan 21

That's right, build more of those ugly, high density dog boxes, just like Sydney! 🙄

John Mungoven John Mungoven 9:18 pm 26 Jan 21

Build trailer parks - US of A style. Fit more people in

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:48 pm 26 Jan 21

It should be a betterment tax bonanza for the cash strapped government.

David Rudland David Rudland 1:24 pm 26 Jan 21

Wow....really more units. I want to say so much but the words are expletives.

Cube Starr Cube Starr 7:48 am 26 Jan 21

Being from the Southside and not a fan of horse racing, l say fill the area with high rise apartments!

Christopher Cuba Rabanal Christopher Cuba Rabanal 8:18 pm 25 Jan 21

Better lighting around the carpark

Andy Sell Andy Sell 7:32 pm 25 Jan 21

2 words mate, lite rail

Charles Godworth Charles Godworth 6:33 pm 25 Jan 21

rattenbury wants nothing more than to shut down horse racing in the ACT and replace the race course with rows upon rows of geocon buildings. Gotta keep cramming in those flats

    Paul Murray Paul Murray 4:18 pm 26 Jan 21

    Charles Godworth it’s coming from the Canberra Racing Club. They see the light rail as a great opportunity for them to make a heap of money from under-utilised land and improve facilities for race attendees.

Raymond Evans Raymond Evans 6:22 pm 25 Jan 21

Surely there's a petition going too stop this development..last thing we need is more units , keep thoroughbred park alone .

Peter Bee Peter Bee 3:37 pm 25 Jan 21

Development at the site means that anything at EPIC that has noise is likely to be shot down or lessened.

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