Decision over track for BMX riders is delayed
July 07, 2009
Planning bosses have applied the brakes on controversial plans to introduce a BMX track in Lower Earley after agreeing to visit the site of the proposed facility.
Earley Town Council wants to install the recreational facility on open space in Paddick Drive but must wait to see if it can pedal on with the plans as the application was deferred so members of Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee can inspect the site.
Lower Earley residents strongly against the application crammed into the civic offices in Shute End on Wednesday night to learn the fate of the plans – with some having to sit in the council chambers and listen to the meeting through a speaker system.
Those opposing the BMX facility, which would be used for recreational and not competition purposes, believe such a development would bring added noise and disturbance, result in a loss of open space and attract anti-social behaviour.
Others feel the track would result in an increase in traffic and that the allocated four car parking spaces at the site are inadequate.
More than 121 letters of objection sent to the council were backed up by two petitions containing over 400 signatures calling for the application to be refused, but members of the committee believe a site visit is required before making any official decision.
The committee debated the overall size of the application and the problems it may bring with it to the immediate highways and local residents – but each member was in agreement that the facility would benefit the younger population of Lower Earley.
Councillor Stephen Conway, committee member and ward member for Twyford, proposed a site visit because he believes deferring the application will give Earley Town Council the opportunity to take another look at the plans.
He said: “I said at the beginning that the idea of bringing more facilities for younger people in Lower Earley is a very good idea.
“But I do believe there is some scope for improving the application we see before us.
“I’m trying to propose something to give us the opportunity to have a look at this on a different front.
“I thought I was being constructive.”
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