A special meeting of the conservators has been scheduled for tomorrow, 10 November, to consider proposals for the racecourse to undertake works to the Tattenham Straight and Lonsdale Stand. The report can be seen on the council's website here.
No problem with the works. However, look at the report, para.3.1:
"The Conservators will note that the proposed location to be used as the source of 'fill material’ for the works is within the ‘Hatched area’ at the southern end of the Downs. This area is marked on the Signed Map of the Downs (under the 1984 Epsom and Walton Downs Regulation Act) as being permitted for hack riding after noon if, in the opinion of the Training Grounds Management Board (TGMB), conditions allow. The Conservators are provided with an update regarding the TGMB’s consideration of this matter at each of their normal meetings."
Then at the description of how the fill material will be sourced, page 7 of the report (consultant's annexe):
"The area of land is currently sloping, and is located between routes along the Downs. Conor Morrow has suggested that the grass and soil is removed in a series of strips with grass left in between. The stripped areas will then be seeded down with Kidney Vetch from locally sourced seed. The main areas will be stripped by 500mm, with the edges graded back at gradients of 1 in 6 to ensure that the reduced areas do not create hazards for walkers."
Now look at the photo on the last page: this shows where the sourcing will take place: immediately east of Walton Road, almost fully occupying the hatched area extending east from Walton Road except along the southern margin adjacent to the Mactrack. This would render it permanently unuseable by horse riders, which is no doubt the intention. (The racecourse tell me that this outcome wasn't planned, but merely the result of this site being favoured by its consultants. Ed)
Needless to say, not a word of this was mentioned at the consultative committee meeting last week.