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Last Updated: Friday, 22 September 2006, 05:49 GMT 06:49 UK
Council puts racecourse on track
The former opencast coal mine at Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire
The race course is on the site of a former open cast mine
Work on a multi-million pound horse racing course in Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire, could begin next year.

Plans to build the race course on the site of a former open-cast mine near Llanelli have been approved by Carmarthenshire planners.

The course would be the third in Wales, along with Chepstow and Bangor-on-Dee.

The plans, which still need final approval, include a race course, training centre and a grandstand for 1,000 spectators.

A hotel and up to 250 houses would also be built on the site of the 608-acre Ffos Las mine, which shut in 1997.

The developers, Walters Group, say the location would attract horse owners and punters from Ireland and create more than 50 jobs.

The plans will now go before the departures committee at Carmarthenshire Council for final approval.

Developers say they expect to start work on the site in the spring.

The 1.75 mile course will be one of the first to be opened in the UK for 75 years.

But it will be pipped to the post by a the new Great Leighs course in Essex, due to open in February 2007.

Proposals for a 16m racecourse were first submitted back in 2003.

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