A Formula One team’s proposed new HQ at Silverstone has been granted planning permission by councillors.
Racing Point had applied for a new building next to its existing facility between Buckingham Road and Dadford Road, which is just to the west of the racing circuit.
And this afternoon (October 31) members of South Northamptonshire Council’s planning committee granted unanimous approval to the scheme.
It will include all aspects of Formula One car development, construction and preparation. The 15,000 square metre building will be spread over two floors and feature a ‘central glazed street’ at the heart of the building.
Planning papers say: “The street is envisaged as a highly functional space that can accommodate the movement of parts and engines, finished cars that can be used for Pit Lane practice, as well as informal meetings.”
Speaking to councillors at The Forum in Towcester, Simon Lake, a project manager for Racing Point, said: “Our team’s origins stem from Jordan in 1991, which is when the current building was built. But we are now known as Racing Point, and we are driven by a passion for motorsport and have clear ambitions to compete at the highest level of it.
“We want to build on the established team and location that we have, and we need to take advantage of our location at Silverstone as it’s the ideal base from which to grow.
“Formula One is a highly innovative business with state-of-the-art technology and this is necessary for us to keep up with these advances.”
Councillors were told that the existing building is ‘not fit for purpose’ and that there was minimal space for research and development or storage.
Although elected members approved the scheme, Councillor Martin Johns questioned the addition of a helipad on the site. Asking Mr Lake why the site needed one, and whether nearby facilities could be used, he was told that Racing Point co-owner Lawrence Stroll regularly used a helicopter to visit the site.
Mr Lake said: “The gentleman funding this has a helicopter. It would be career-damaging for me to suggest that he use facilities nearby! He visits the site once a fortnight. I could call Lawrence now, but I think I know what the answer would be.”
Mr Stroll’s son, Lance, is one of two drivers competing for the team in F1 races alongside Sergio Perez who has been with the team since its days as Force India. The Racing Point team currently sit seventh out of the 10 constructors for the 2019 Formula One season.