CHESTER Racecourse has explained why it is seeking to extend the temporary permission of its raceday 'tented village' facility.

On Monday, we revealed that Chester Race Company had lodged plans with Cheshire West and Chester Council to extend the use of its raceday marquees and private chalets for three more years, having been granted a three-year extension to the temporary facility in 2019.

The permission for what is known as the 'tented village', offering guests private hospitality, was due to run out at the end of this racing season.

Chester Racecourse.

Chester Racecourse.

Should the council grant permission, the tented village would be in place during the racing season until October 2025.

The current permission is linked to the £100 million racecourse masterplan which was approved by councillors in August 2019 and formally granted outline planning consent in November 2020.

The masterplan, which includes a new Grandstand and a multi-use Events Building, also provides for the permanent relocation of the tented village to the north side of the racetrack.

The Race Company explained in its application that the extension of time for the temporary marquees consent is needed because of the two year disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Chester Races were cancelled for the entire 2020 and most of the 2021 season and, in common with most other major leisure and hospitality venues, significant financial losses were incurred.

With the expected return to profitability this year, Chester Racecourse is now starting to plan for a first phase of its masterplan.

Louise Stewart, CEO at Chester Racecourse, said: "We need this extra time while we recover from the serious financial impact of the pandemic, to start building up reserves for the masterplan investment, and to take stock of the lessons learnt during these last two years.

"We are also taking another look at some of the detail in our masterplan and expect to make some changes in response to the climate emergency. The delay is regrettable but unavoidable. However, we feel very positive about the future and need the time which this extra three years will give us."