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Ayr conference centre work grinds to a halt.

RACECOURSE chiefs at Ayr have been forced to suspend plans for a pounds 3 million conference centre as their redevelopment programme hit further trouble only weeks after work had finally started, writes Paul Eacott.

Work stopped on the site on Thursday after councillors rejected a bid by Dawn Construction to buy a plot of land they claim is needed to build a new road. The ground has been valued at pounds 250,000.

It is understood that Ayr's senior management have been angered by the decision, and may now ditch the planned conference centre and sports bar permanently.

A spokesman told the Ayrshire Post: "The remedial works for the creation of a new conference centre at the racecourse have stopped.

"This is a direct consequence of the inability of Labour and Conservative councillors to support our plans. We are considering our position."

Dawn Construction, whose managing director Alan Mac-donald is also part-owner of the racecourse, had applied to South Ayrshire Council for permission to buy the land earlier this year.

It is believed that, at first, council officials did not expect any problems with the land sale. However, the sale turned sour when a local councillor took issue on behalf of residents.

Work on the pounds 35m project, which includes a casino, multiplex cinema, hotel and new grandstand, began after Ayr's Gold Cup meeting last month.

The scheme was granted outline planning permission by South Ayrshire Council in January last year but was delayed by the Scottish Executive's decision to hold a public inquiry.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 23, 2006
Words:254
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