As covered in last week’s News (ATG No 2275), the Jockey Club, which owns the racecourse, is submitting plans to redevelop the land for housing to help fund a new all-weather course at Newmarket.
The antiques market has been run at Kempton Park for 38 years, and has weathered many storms over the years. Cruttenden has the strong support of Spelthorne Borough Council, which covers Kempton. Council leader Cllr Ian Harvey says: “I am fully aware of the views of local residents and have consistently made clear my strong opposition to development of this site and my determination to protect the Green Belt in Spelthorne.”
Under current land values Kempton Park has an estimated value of £462m and if the plans are approved, building would commence in 2021 at the earliest.
Cruttenden told ATG that he has had a great relationship with the Jockey Club for many years and expects that to continue in future discussions.
He added that he has been hugely heartened by the many messages of support from the market’s fans, some of whom have emailed and phoned ATG.
Another fair organiser, Matthew Adams, probably spoke for many when he said: “Kempton is the best market in the world! If it disappears it will be such a massive loss to the trade.”
Cruttenden is upbeat about the future, saying Sunbury Antiques Market will go on. He added: “Down the years we have known many upheavals here – in the 1990s when they rebuilt the grandstand all the inside stalls were in a marquee in the middle of the racecourse. And that went on for 18 months.”
A Save Kempton Park Twitter account has been set up and gained more than 1500 followers in five days.