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Council threatens to pull rug out from under British GP

As if he wasn't already having a bad enough week as it was, Simon Gillett has seen his hopes of staging the 2010 British Grand Prix at Donington Park dealt another blow after the district council concerned revealed that it may be forced to revoke its approval for the necessary track upgrades.

It was announced earlier this week that Gillett's company Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd (DVLL) is being sued by circuit owner Tom Wheatcroft over an alleged £2.47 million in unpaid rent, with the latter demanding payment as well as the return of the 150-year lease on the venue he granted Gillett back in 2007 [see separate story – click here].

Should the lawsuit prove successful, it would almost certainly mark the end of DVLL's ambitious £100 million redevelopment project to bring Donington up to the required standard to welcome Formula 1 – and also, quite possibly, the end of the British Grand Prix.

Since then, North West Leicestershire District Council has admitted that it is considering withdrawing its approval for the improvements over Gillett's failure to come up with a transport management plan, as had been stipulated in the agreement. The council has now imposed a deadline of May 5 for Gillett to play ball, or else it too has threatened to take him to court in a bid to halt and even reverse the construction work.

“[The council] has continued to work with Donington Park to meet the deadlines and terms of the permission,” councillor Richard Blunt is quoted as having said by F1SA. “We can't keep extending the deadline for signing the agreement.”

Gillett was unavailable for comment.

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Kyle Bush - Unregistered

April 26, 2009 11:01 AM

In a time when the country has no money surely it makes sense to use the track that we have already payed to have roads run up to rather than spending more money on new ones and mutilating a beautiful track.

Paul - Unregistered

April 26, 2009 5:38 PM

When I was sat in the sun at Copse after friday practice last summer & heard over the PA the news & the time frame for the work needed, I got a very very worried feeling in my bones. It seems bones dont lie & I bet the dwarf had the same idea all along, boo hiss Bernie.

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