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Brands Hatch public inquiry date set for December

Brands Hatch have confirmed that the public inquiry into their plans to develop the circuit will begin in December.

The Kent circuit, who have the rights to host the British Grand Prix from 2002 to 2007, needs to be upgraded to meet Formula One standards and the public inquiry will decide if planning permission will be granted.

Brands Hatch has proposed to build a large car-park and to re-develop several areas of the circuit to host Formula One racing again. The development would mean cutting down parts of woodland and that is why the planning permission has been put to a public inquiry.

FIA vice-president Bernie Ecclestone has already suggested that the circuit will not be ready to host the 2002 British Grand Prix, but Rob Bain, chairman of Brands Hatch Leisure, is optimistic the public inquiry will be over quickly and building work can begin.

Bain said: "Hopefully, the inquiry will not take long. We have worked very hard to meet objectors to our plans and allay their fears. For every tree we cut down we will plant at least two more.

"Obviously, the longer the inquiry goes on the harder it will be for us to achieve our aim of hosting the 2002 British Grand Prix. But there is still a long way to go and we are confident we can do it."

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