Oxford greyhound track owners told: ‘Sell up or stadium will continue to leak funds’ (From The Oxford Times)
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Oxford greyhound track owners told: ‘Sell up or stadium will continue to leak funds’
THE group hoping to buy Oxford Stadium has told its owners to sell up before they lose too much money.
Nick Budimir, who is working with Oxfordshire farmer Robert Tyrrell to buy the Sandy Lane stadium, has said they will put together a new bid for it.
Galliard is hoping to demolish the stadium and replace it with 220 homes, but this was rejected by Oxford City Council and is now going to a planning appeal.
Mr Budimir, a friend of football manager Harry Redknapp, who once owned a greyhound with the QPR boss, was speaking after the city council awarded the stadium conservation area status, giving it further protection from developers.
He said: “It is time to sit down and talk sensibly about this because we are wasting money. We have put two bids in already and we will increase the bid. We just want to get on with it.
“Galliard thinks that the support for the stadium will just go away but that’s a non-runner.
“They are playing a game that if they string it out long enough no one will care. But people do care.
“I don’t want to wait until November for the appeal to be refused, which it will be, to then start negotiating again so let us be sensible and let’s get this deal done.”
Greyhound racing at the stadium stopped in December 2012 when owners, the Greyhound Racing Association, said it that was no longer financially viable to hold the events there.
After the city council rejected the 220 home scheme, Galliard took the issue to a planning appeal, which means than an independent Government inspector will make a final decision after an inquiry, starting on September 9.
Mr Tyrrell is a Steventon-based farmer who sits on the village’s parish council and who has owned racehorses for 30 years.
Andy Cooper runs Karting Oxford, which is still operating at the stadium.
He said: “If they want to put in a bid that’s all well and good. It clearly demonstrates that the site here is quite viable in some people’s eyes.
“I’d have thought the best thing to do would be to let Galliard spend their money on the inquiry. Their case is very weak but they are into it too far in my opinion.
“Once it has been turned down that will signicantly devalue the site.”
Galliard declined to comment.
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