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BMX track makes jump to Olympic standard
Monday, 09 April 2012
CONTROVERSIAL plans for an Olympic-standard BMX track have been granted planning permission.
On Thursday, Southwark council agreed to allow the existing BMX track in Burgess Park, to be upgraded. The new 400m floodlit track, which will be free to use, will feature hairpin bends and jumps of up to 2.5m.
It is to be built in a derelict playground in the park – which borders Camberwell, Peckham and Walworth – and will be able to host international events.
The council granted £150,000 to the project, which has also attracted cash from British Cycling and the London Marathon Trust.
The project is expected to be completed in January next year.
Councillor Veronica Ward, Southwark council cabinet member for leisure, said: “These are really exciting plans which will make a massive contribution to the local community and will hopefully nurture future Olympic athletes.
“It will also be a great addition to Burgess Park, which is already undergoing a multimillion-pound revamp and, when complete, will be one of the best parks in the capital.”
But there has been opposition from some residents, who are concerned about the impact it may have on one of the largest parks in South London.
They are worried that the park will effectively be split in two by the development, trees and wildlife will be harmed and the area will not be able to cope with the influx of traffic.
Andrew Osborne, of Wells Way Residents’ Association, Camberwell, said: “Quite a lot of trees stand to be felled, and the overall impact will be less wildlife, and the park becoming less natural.
There is also nothing in place to deal with the influx of traffic.
“This isn’t an area with good Tube or bus links and no new car parking spaces are being built.”
Susan Crisp, of the Friends of Burgess Park, said: “Our major concern is to ensure that the BMX track becomes landscaped into the park and contributes to the overall range of facilities in the park.
“We will work closely with Southwark council and the BMX track supporters to make sure this happens.”
All content © of South London Press unless stated otherwise.
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