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Cheltenham Track Sale Hits Hurdle

Friday, 20th October 2006

The South Australian government "has raised the stakes in the proposal to sell the 50-hectares Cheltenham Racecourse in Adelaide for residential development by demanding that 20-hectares be retained for open space," reported The Australian Financial Review. The government announced "it would oppose the sale & land rezoning unless the SA Jockey Club met its demand, which represents 40.6% of the site". The legal requirement (under present SA planning laws for new developments) is 12.5% "but the government previously signalled a requirement for 30% at Cheltenham". The increased demand "is expected to lead to denser housing development on the land remaining & reduce the cash-strapped SAJC's return". The club wants to sell the racecourse "to clear debts & reinvest in its Morphettville headquarters & Victoria Park track, plus in additional prize-money". SAJC chairman John Naffine told the newspaper the public space requirement was "a severe impost" & the club "would not go ahead with the plan unless an acceptable financial return is realised".

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