Plans for new BMX track at Bexleyheath park to go before Bexley Council committee
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 January 2019
Plans to give abandoned tennis courts in Bexleyheath a new lease of life as a BMX track have been submitted to the council.
The vision involves building a new cycle and skateboard facility at overgrown courts in Martens Grove.
The proposals are a joint effort by London charity Access Sport and Bexley Council, which says there is a demand for cycling areas.
According to planning documents: “The aim is to provide a unique facility within a public park that is accessible from dawn till dusk and home to a brand new community cycling club and outreach programme that helps typically disadvantaged, at-risk and inactive people enjoy the benefits of physical activity.
“The club will have its own set of bikes and safety equipment and the facility will be the hub for a community outreach programme, engaging hard-to-reach and inactive groups though local schools, pupil referral units, special educational needs schools, youth club and community-groups around the borough.”
The facility would be split into three sections, an all-tarmac track for mountain bikes, BMXs and skateboards with hard and easy routes, along with a basic skill training area and a middle route with a handful of BMX features.
Councillor Peter Craske, cabinet member for places, said the proposed track would be a great facility for the borough.
Cllr Craske said: “The new bike park will transform this area of the park, and give young people in Bexley a really high-quality facility, somewhere to go and learn new skills.
“It’s the result of hard work by the council and Active London and we’re really proud to be able to have developed this idea.
“The response from the local community who came to the open day event last autumn showed there is huge support for the proposals – I even had a go myself and managed to get round without falling off.”
Martens Grove Park is close to Oakwood School, Shenstone School, St Columba’s and Saint Catherine’s.
Despite the majority of residents backing the scheme during a consultation last year, more than 30 per cent of respondents said they had issues with the proposals.
Objectors said the BMX track would bring antisocial behaviour such as drug use.
However, the minds behind the facility say anti-social behaviour would be monitored.
Planning documents explain: “Bexley Council will continue to work with the community safety and ward officers and local residents to resolve any antisocial behaviour that does occur in Martens Grove Park in the same way as they do across the borough.”
The park is not proposed to be floodlit, with others across London regularly used after dark with no issues, according to documents.
The scheme is currently being considered by officers at the council and a final decision is yet to be made.