By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Sandown racecourse’s owner has announced that it will seek to rezone the iconic venue, but insisting there are no firm plans for redevelopment.
In a statement, Melboune Racing Club announced it was seeking to rezone its freehold land at Caulfield and Sandown racecourses from Special Use to Comprehensive Development zones.
For Caulfield, there was a declared $300 million “vision” for a “world-class racing experience”.
But according to the club, it was still just business as usual at Sandown.
The drawcard venue currently hosts 35 horse track meets a year, Supercars racing and a variety of festivals and community events.
MRC racing and membership executive director Jake Norton said the rezoning application had “no bearing” on Sandown racing activities for the “foreseeable future”.
“All current activities at Sandown, including use of the car racing track, remain as is.
“If the MRC wish to make any changes to usage at Sandown, it would require consultation with the State Government, Racing Victoria and ultimately support from the MRC membership.”
For the future beyond, the site could be either partially or fully developed. Mr Norton didn’t rule out racing remaining in the mix.
“I wouldn’t want to guess what the future use of the land will be.”
According to Victorian Planning Authority material, the racecourse is part of a planned Sandown Park Station Precinct of residential, commercial, retail and community uses.
The venue is subject to a masterplan in collaboration of the MRC, VPA and Greater Dandenong Council, the VPA 2017 report states.
Last year, Star News reported the MRC had presented concept plans and technical information for the “future opportunity” to the council.
MRC member and former Greater Dandenong mayor Peter Brown said at the time that the concept included a mix of high-rise apartments, town houses, homes, a medical centre and shops.
Mr Norton declined to comment on the detail of the concepts.
Speculation had been rife after Sandown was conspicuously overlooked as the new home of Caulfield’s training stables last October.
Mr Norton said the re-location to Cranbourne and Pakenham was directed by the State Government and Racing Victoria.
In those circumstances, it was “illogical and uneconomic” to establish a training centre at Sandown.