A MAJOR development featuring hundreds of apartments and cottages for older people, a care home and community facilities could be built on the site of an established car racing track.

Developer Inspired Villages has announced its proposals for Ringwood Raceway off Matchams Lane, just outside the BCP Council area.

A public consultation is due to take place next week over the plans for a new “retirement community” as well as a nature conservation area.

Inspired Villages said its proposed scheme was being backed financially by Legal & General and NatWest Group Pension Fund.

Bournemouth Echo: Ringwood RacewayRingwood Raceway

Stuart Garnett, Inspired Villages planning director, said: “The new community we are proposing will provide high quality retirement living housing on a largely previously developed site in desperate need of regeneration.

“We are working closely with bodies such as Natural England and the RSPB to bring forward plans for a new nature conservation area, which will enhance and much better protect the Dorset Heathlands and habitats.”

The site is currently home to Ringwood Raceway, which plays host to a variety of motor sport meetings, including banger racing, as well as other uses including for vehicle storage.

Racing has taken place on the site for decades. The track is reportedly one of the UK’s largest oval raceways used for stock car racing.

Bournemouth Echo: The entrance to the siteThe entrance to the site

If progressed, and subject to a planning approval from Dorset Council, Inspired Villages proposal would see up to 330 age-restricted apartments and cottages, plus communal and care facilities, which would include a café, restaurant, shop, meeting space, hair salon, wellbeing centre, treatment rooms and village transport service.

A 60-bed care home is also in the plans, with homes in the plan age restricted to those who are likely to be aged 70 or over. The developer is also proposing the creation of a new 33-hectare nature conservation area.

Once complete, the development would create 40 to 50 new jobs in the area, Inspired Villages said.

Residents can share their thoughts on the plan online at inspiredvillages.co.uk/village/matchams from October 25 and through an in-person public exhibition between 2pm and 7.30pm on October 29, at St Leonards and St Ives Village Hall in Braeside Road.

The Daily Echo contacted Ringwood Raceway for comment, but at the time of going to print had not received a response.