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Bid to build ‘biking mecca of Wales’ as funding for new cycling centre is approved

31 Dec 2021 3 minute read
Photo by Mabel Amber from Pixabay

Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy reporter

Funding to progress plans for a cycling centre near Abergavenny described as a “biking mecca of Wales” has been formally signed off by Monmouthshire council.

A budget of £28,000 has been created by the county council to fund additional consultancy costs to move the plans forward.

The proposed velo park is planned next to the Llanfoist recycling centre and includes a mix of facilities suitable for road, cyclocross and entry-level mountain biking.

It is planned to cater for families, leisure cyclists and competitors to experience coaching, training, racing as well as recreational use.

Cllr Phil Murphy, cabinet member for resources, has signed off plans to fund additional consultancy work, with the budget to be created using money from section 106 funds, money provided by developers to be used in the community as part of planning applications.

A council report says that a planning application for the cycling centre at Racecourse Farm in Llanfoist, near Abergavenny, is “at an advanced stage” following consultation periods.

The budget will cover the cost of additional studies and work to meet planning requirements, following observations submitted by Natural Resources Wales.

It is hoped that the planning application could be approved by June.

Senior county councillors have voiced support for the plans.

Council leader, Cllr Richard John, tweeted: “This is a really exciting development for the Monmouthshire economy, furthering our reputation as a tourism destination.”

Cllr Lisa Dymock, cabinet member for community wellbeing and social justice, added: “This is very exciting.

“I like the sound of ‘Abergavenny – the biking mecca of Wales’.”

‘National importance’

Welsh Cycling has identified a lack of suitable regional facilities for closed road cycling as “one of the main barriers to the development of the sport in Wales”, and has worked with Monmouthshire council on developing the plans.

A design and access statement submitted as part of a pre-application consultation says: “The facility will be of regional and potentially national importance for the growth and development of cycling and other wheeled sports.

“It will further enhance Abergavenny’s reputation as one of the most successful cycling towns and destinations in Wales.”

Funding of £40,000 has also been awarded by the council to convert less well-used play areas in Rockfield, Monmouth, into community spaces as part of a Community Nature Spaces project.

An allocation of £20,580 will fund new play equipment at the Sudbrook playpark as part of separate planning contributions.

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