Donington Park can move ahead with its plans to host the British Grand Prix from 2010 after being granted planning permission to proceed with the redevelopment work needed to bring it up to Formula One standards.

After an evening hearing in Coalville, North West Leicestershire District Council granted permission for the first stage of the improvements to take place, with work now set to start immediately as the circuit seeks to ensure it is ready in time to take over from Silverstone as the host of the event.

"We will definitely be celebrating tonight," circuit chief executive Simon Gillett said following the announcement on Thursday evening. "This is a major step forward and one more target delivered.

"I remain committed to approaching every stage of this development with the same passion and vigour with which we attacked the planning stage and I have endeavoured to ensure that the same is true of the people who will work with me on this project.

"My eye is always on that fixed end date of July 2010. I remain confident and positive that we can and will achieve everything that we have promised and I won't rest until I am watching the British Grand Prix at Donington Park next year."

Tom Wheatcroft, landowner was also delighted with the positive outcome of the planning hearing, which came after many had doubted whether or not the circuit would be granted permission to push ahead with its plans.

"I'm delighted to see that the plans have been accepted," he said. "There is a lot of work ahead now for everyone and I am looking forward enthusiastically to 2010 and the arrival of the British F1 Grand Prix."


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