Plans to extend a hotel at Newbury Racecourse are set for approval.

The owners of the racecourse have applied for planning permission to add 40 bedrooms to The Lodge, taking the total up to 76.

The building was originally used to accommodate stable and racecourse staff during race days, but in March 2016 the owners of the racecourse were granted permission to use that building as a hotel for 305 days a year.

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Now they want permission to operate a hotel 365 days a year, because there is “limited demand” for accommodation for stable and racecourse staff.

According to the plans, staff only use around 10 rooms at The Lodge on race days as most “prefer to travel home or onto the next race meet”.

West Berkshire Council’s Western Area Planning Committee is expected to approve the hotel extension and the application to operate a hotel all year round, when it meets on Wednesday, March 17.

That’s because both plans have been recommended for approval by council planning officers.

The owner’s planning statement reads: “If planning permission is granted, it will allow The Lodge to continue to provide high-quality hotel accommodation not only for the racecourse on race days, but also to the wider area of Newbury throughout the year.

“It is in a sustainable location, well served by public transport and close to the train station and Newbury town centre.”

In November 2011, the racecourse owners were granted permission to build a 123-room hotel on the site, but it has not been built yet.

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The council is now prepared alter a legal agreement, so it states a maximum of 123 hotel bedrooms can be built across the racecourse site.

That means the racecourse owners cannot build that 123-room hotel while The Lodge is open.

However, if it closes The Lodge, it can then build the other hotel, without submitting another planning application.