LIVELY MEETING REJECTS OLYMPIC VELOPARK PLANS
CONTROVERSIAL plans for the Olympic Legacy Velopark were roundly rejected at a lively meeting with the Olympic Delivery Authority by the Eastway Users Group (EUG) and British Cycling regional representatives in London on Monday evening.
But there are only a three days left to officially object to the plans!
The panel consisted of ODA chief executive David Higgins ODA Project Sponsor Richard Arnold, Julie King, Head of External Relations ODA and Vincent Bartlett, Land team, London Development Agency.
They heard a string of objections to the revised plans for the Velopark, which is to occupy only one third the size of the site of the original Eastway, with a road and insignificant mtb circuit squeezed around an indoor velodrome. This despite assurances that Eastway’s 1.6km road and 6km mtb circuits would be returned like for like.
When the downsized Velopark was announced in January it was greeted with howls of protest from local cycling groups. British Cycling chief executive Peter King said the Velopark had gone “Pear-shaped”. But while EUG’s 2000 signature petition called on the Mayor of London to call in the Olympic Velopark plans, British Cycling remained wary of objecting to the size of the site, insisting that negotiation was the way forward.
But four months later nothing the ODA has offered has met with approval. The road circuit is still unchallenging and too close to a major highway, while a permanent competition length mtb circuit has been ruled out of the question.
EUG chair Michael Humphreys told CW: “Comments from two senior regional officers of British Cycling and some very pointed questions from the floor leave no doubt that wriggling around with the present scheme will not meet the needs of Eastway users.
“We want a return to the site for our Olympic disciplines and for the unstructured fun riding on and off-road which made the site so accessible and inclusive.”
John Hawkridge, chair of South East Region, said: “The cut-down road and off-road provision is useless in such a small space.”
David Rossi, secretary of EUG, made the analogy with a home owner being moved to a newly-built property: “If the five-bed home he left is to be replaced with a design with a plot that’s only large enough for a one-bed terrace, the plan is never going to be acceptable.”
Objections to the plans should be sent to:
Head of Development Control
Olympic Delivery Authority
Planning Decisions Team
1 Churchill Place,
London E14 5LN