Silverstone submits new plans for development

2011 F1 season

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Silverstone development map
Silverstone development map

Silverstone has taken a further step forward with its plans for future development at the circuit.

The circuit owners have submitted a planning application to the local council to construct a series of new buildings.

They will include a business park, technology park, education campus, three hotels, spectator facilities, kart track and outdoor stage.

The new spectator facilities will include a welcome centre and a museum of motor sport.

Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips described the development as “The most important initiative that Silverstone has taken in its 60-year history.

“Approval of this planning application will help maintain Silverstone’s position as a leading global centre for sport, leisure, education and technology and support its vision of becoming a world-leading motor sport destination.”

British Racing Drivers? Club Stuart Rolt said: “The submission of this planning application is a big step forward in releasing the commercial potential of Silverstone and its 760 acre erstate.

“The timing of this planning application is closely linked into the process we are currently undergoing to seek potential investment from third parties that will enable us to move forward with our plans more rapidly.”

Last month Silverstone held its first Grand Prix using its new pit and paddock complex, The Wing, following changes to the circuit layout made last year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Silverstone submits new plans for development”

  1. Another positive step for Silverstone. Given the unprofitability of the Donnington F1 museum though, I can’t see the business sense in another one. Having said that it’ll be great to go to for all the F1 geeks like us!

    1. Given the unprofitability of the Donnington F1 museum though

      Didn’t realise they were losing money on that, how bad is it?

      1. I can’t find the original article but i’ll keep looking. It basically said that the museum only just breaks even and there has been a decline in business

      2. The museum may not make masses of money but it would offer another reason to come to Silverstone, thus increase ticket sales.

        The other benefit of having it would be to encourage punters to stick around after a major event, reducing sudden traffic congestion (think MotoGP this year).

        Either way it’s great to see Silverstone going in the direction it is… just hope the get a bridge across the new pit, I can see running all the way around being an issue at the WSR.

        1. Donningtons motor museum is a fantastic collection of cars and well worth a visit for anyone who hasn’t been lucky enough to find the time before.

          One criticism i do have of it is that it could do with a bit of modernisation, both in terms of the presentation of the displays and the actual content itself.

    2. I think the problem is, that there is not many people that come there only for the museum.
      The challenge will be to get them to go conference-karting-museum in a 2-3 day visit like scheme.

    3. That’s a shame to hear the Donington Park one is suffering, i’ve been down there for Download Festival and always fancied a look but it’s never been open.

      I do think one at Silverstone would do better based on exposure alone.

  2. Lucas Alexander Munro - Mr. Veloce of Britalia - Yours With Wings
    11th August 2011, 19:45

    I was at Silverstone this year and last year for the GP, this year we had a torrid time camping to be honest, which is why my dad who desperatley wants to go for a third year in succession is upset due to the fact that I won’t go unless we stayed in a hotel. So Keith, when are these developments due to take place and finish?

    1. Ah, camping is part of the fun of most things! Not just F1! I agree that it’s good there’s a hotel, but let your hair down ;)

  3. Do they really need all that fluff? They already do a lot on the side.

  4. I know it’s boring but I hope they improve the general access around the track. Moving from one grandstand to another or to the inadequate toilets or the catering facilities requires footwear more often seen on The Pennine Way than at a world class sporting event.
    A few new paths please.

    1. I was at the re-developed Silverstone for the ‘Classic last month and I thought access was superb. It’s certainly a LOT better than it was. As far as toilets are concerned, they’re better than at most football grounds!

      Incidentally, has no one noticed that this redevelopment will completely destroy the original Abbey curve, meaning the ‘historic’ layout will be no more… :-(

      1. You mean the chicane? They’ve scrapped that as of this year already.

        1. Yup, it’s gone. At the GT1 meeting this year you didn’t even have to walk across the bridge to get to the infield. They’ve built ramps down onto the old track, which makes for some good photo opportunities. The bit of tack between Brooklands and under the bridge was being used for the Renault Clio driving school.

        2. No, no guys – not the Abbey chicane, the original Abbey curve that went left over the brow. I couldn’t see it at the ‘Classic, and the proposal above suggests that a grandstand will be built on what was the original corner.

      2. I know during other events the access is fine as are the amount of toilets but for the GP the vast increase in pedestrian traffic makes moving round less pleasant. As for toilets, a 20 minute queue isn’t great, especially for an all day event, unlike a couple of hours for a football match.

      3. Its gone, and been replaced by a far far better piece of track, a section of track that is quickly become iconic in many forms of motorsport.

        I do wish however they had left the bump in the middle of the new abby corner from last year though, it was amazing watching drivers attack it knowing that there was something there that might just catch them out.

        1. The new Abbey is good – and great views over the Arena section too.

          It is sad to lose the old Abbey left hander – but the GP track of old is long gone anyway as the old sweep through to Woocote and the old Becketts section disappered years ago (plus the old Club). The kink at Abbey did not a ‘classic’ layout make.

  5. Looks like Silverstone are planning to build in outer space too! Their really going all out! (see enlarged picture top right)

    1. Silverstone circuit will be a town of its own! I’d love an F1-dedicated town…

  6. Hopefully the new Abbey Grandstand will mean you can see into the pits at the business end of the grid (Ferrari and such were pretty much hidden in the ‘trench’ of the new pit lane)

    1. The problem was that the corporate hospitality mob were at that end so originally it had been planned that the top teams were in view to the grandstand, however the corporate guests preferred not to watch HRT and Virgin doing pit stops for some odd reason…

  7. I think they should plant a few trees around the circuit. Aesthetically, I’ve always found Silverstone about as interesting as cardboard, and the tarmacing over of grass run off hasn’t helped. Though the new paddock does look pretty cool

    1. Yes, some nice trees around the outside would really help. Perhaps to hide the vast nothingness. I wish they’d do the same for Shanghai, or at least water the grass! But in a few year’s time there should be skyscrapers surrounding the Shanghai circuit, so the need for trees may not be there.

      One other thing I noticed; is that a Shanghai-style bridge between the pits and the grandstand opposite the pits? It looks interesting, whatever it is.

  8. Well this all sounds very good. Good to see they’re not sitting on their backside.

  9. Me and 2 friends where at this years race and it was excellent! Since we are from Norway and had a rental car we took the trip to Donnington. We found the trip to be a short one. We did it friday after 1st practice. Great museum with great history! There where a trackday at the track and we where allowed to go onto pitwall. Heck, even Matt Neal was there driving. Nice guy also! I find english people to be very nice and polite, we will come back next year. Do both Goodwood and Silverstone.
    We even went to Brooklands and got chased off Top Gear test track….. ;) (Yes, we managed to get onto their track with our rental car.) We just played dumb norwegian tourists, and we had no trouble getting away with it. So, as i say, english people are nice and polite!

  10. Hotels just a stone throw away from the track is the best thing you can imagine off.

  11. Can anyone see any space whatsoever around the circuit in that plan for General Admission? Already there’s only one real large bank (Vale) and even that looks much smaller on this plan (what is that brown sweep through from the campsite across Vale to the main entrance?!).

    Also looks like the great Becketts grandstand leading overlooking the fastest sweep and over is now moved to where the current Gen Admission bank is?

    I’ve been to both GP’s since the work started, and you can see clear potential, and lots of improvement already. This plan does look great overall – a true world class venue with real history. I just hope General Admission is catered for better than currently. Some years I do grandstands, some years General Admission. Looks like loads more grandstand spaces – some maybe there will be a new basic category costing a bit less (ha ha!).

    1. General admission was better this year than it has ever been with the opening up of the large grassy area between bridge and the end of the wellington straight. Not to mention all the other additional viewing places in front of new stands and around new sections of tracks.

      You clearly didn’t do enough exploring.

      It even convinced me to buy a Gen add ticket next year.

      1. Sorry Lee I disagree. The large grassy area had a very poor view of the track. I’m hopefull that area will be built up in future years – if it is it will become a great place to watch, but as it was this year you go a poor view from the barrier, or just a telly with no track view.

        We explored the whole track. Some places were good, some not so. Some of the bits that could be promising in front of some stands were very rough and cleearly an afterthought.

        I’m not having a pop at Silverstone – its a development phase, and as gen admission ticket buyers we have seen it as a transition phase. If the new area you mention gets built up the circuit really will cater a range of fantastic areas for a large number of people.

  12. I do agree with Ned – some trees would be nice!

    There are some great ideas here, but I do worry about the knock-on effect on the price of tickets. It’s already becoming a place that excludes poorer F1 fans.

  13. HounslowBusGarage
    12th August 2011, 11:36

    This all looks pretty exciting, but like Ned I wish they would deal with the planting aspect a bit more diligently. When you’re there it still feels like the airfield it was.
    Couple of queries. In the bottom right of the map, outside the blue (secured?) area is a multi-configuration track. Is it another cart track? And running from the parkland outside the circuit on the right, across and under the new pit area is a brownish straight line; was this a roman road or some other ancient feature? Never noticed it before.

    1. The track you mention is currently an off-road/rally stage style area for rally driving experiences.

      I too wondered about the brown line – anyone any ideas? Google Earth doesn’t shed any light – you can see the line through the trees, but no obvious marks on the circuit itself that appear to carry on this line.

      1. Isn’t that brown line something like one of the old starting/landing strips? Its even shown by planting trees in between the track. Or maybe that roman road you mention.

  14. It all looks wonderful, but the one thing they really need to concentrate on is having more roads in and out of the place. And I’m talking proper roads. not 1-lane-wide barely-paved farm tracks twisting through gates and between fields.

    It took 3 hours to leave last year’s grand prix whilst several field’s-worth of cars were being funneled into a single farm track which eventually spat us out onto the A5.

    Theres only 1 way into the circuit, and thats the junction off of the A43, which they don’t use on race day, instead putting you on the unclassified road through Silverstone village, which means an hour wait. And even that road takes ages to leave on, if you’re one of the lucky few to be pointed towards it instead of a dirt track.

  15. Hopefully I will get to go to Silverstone next year, the race should be held a few weeks before my birthday, and my dream is to watch a F1 race in real life! It looks much improved now!

  16. Where’s the harbour? Thought all circuits had to have one now.

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