The thrills and spills of speedway and the excitement of the dogs are set to be replaced by the sounds of suburbia.

A construction firm has closed in on a £3.645m deal for the former Ellesmere Port Greyhound Stadium which is due to developed for housing.

Leading Cheshire based housing and regeneration specialist Galliford Try Partnerships, which markets its homes under the award winning Linden Homes banner, has submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of the Thornton Road stadium.

The application follows Cheshire West and Chester Council naming the company as development partner for the former greyhound racing track.

The plans outlined for the near 11 acre site will see Galliford Try create 155 mixed tenure homes, car parking and extensive landscaping.

The site was revamped only as recently as early 2013, courtesy of Liverpool-based entrepreneur Phillip Warren.

A total of £170,000 was invested in renovating the 2,000-capacity stadium, once home to the Ellesmere Port Gunners speedway squad and upgrading the track and its facilities, including an improved bar and new grandstand seating.

But the stadium, at the time one of only nine independent tracks left in the country, stopped holding greyhound race meetings and closed in spring 2014.

In collaboration with the stadium company, the borough council sought bids from developers willing to provide homes on the site, 30% of which would be for affordable rent.

Property website Place Northwest disclosed Galliford Try had offered an initial bid of £3,645,000 which had been agreed, according to the Official Journal of the European Union.

The council launched a search for a partner earlier last year as it believed there was the ‘potential’ for residential development, subject to permission.

Housing history

The possibility of housing being built on the site was first discussed in 2008.

Details released by the council pointed to the ‘excellent road links and close proximity to Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet and the new Ellesmere Port Sports and Leisure Village ’.

The stadium and adjacent land was described as being in a mainly residential area close to junctions 9 and 10 of the M53.

The council revealed it had been working in collaboration with the stadium company on the possibility of housing.

Particulars stated: “The council has recently obtained approval for a programme of new affordable homes.

“As part of the programme, the appointed developer will be contractually obligated to build the 30% affordable units on behalf of the council.

“The council would then take on the affordable homes paying £65,000 for each one bedroom apartment, £75,000 for each two bed town house and £80,000 for each three bed town house.”

In the development, 110 dwellings will be for open market sale under the Linden Homes brand and 45 will be affordable homes to be built for the borough council.

If planning is approved, the home builder aims to start construction in the spring.

Development director Darren Leary, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by Cheshire West and Chester Council for the redevelopment of such an important scheme.

“It is testament to our proven expertise in delivering both high quality and affordable housing projects.

“We have worked in partnership with the Council to develop plans to support the continued regeneration of the Ellesmere Port.”


Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders (Lab) commented: “We are desperate for more affordable homes and regeneration in the town, so I hope that this project has the support of local people and that work is able to commence as quickly as possible.”

The developer will be responsible for the reprovision of the current football storage and car park on the Thornton Road playing fields with the location to be decided through consultation with the users.

The council will retain the freehold interest in the site having let the land on a 125-year lease to Ellesmere Port Greyhound Stadium Ltd in 2002.

A post on social media following a Pioneer story last year said: “End of an era – I remember when this used to be the speedway stadium and as kids we used to sit on the walls watching the racing (many moons ago).”

During the stadium’s height, it saw the Ellesmere Port Gunners tear around the track from 1972 until 1982 before being resurrected for one more season in 1985.